In the old days, we had Cree names for most of the places in our territory.
We have inhabited this land for a long time.
Felix Plante was born in Lac Ste. Anne on November 6, 1893. His parents (Abraham Plante b. 1868 and Euphrasnine Wanyandie who were married in 1889) had a homestead in the area. Abraham was the son of Basil Plante (b. 1790), while his wife’s parents were Isabelle Kwarakwante (1820-1889) and Baptiste Wanyandie (1820-74). They were married in 1846. Jean Baptiste was descended from Ignace Wanyandie, the patriarch of the Rocky Mountain Wanyandies. The original family name was LePlante, but it was shortened to Plante.
Felix married Caroline Moberly (1899-1979), the daughter of John Henry Moberly and granddaughter of Henry John Moberly on January 8, 1924. They had seven children; Mary (Desjarlais), Thomas (who died at birth), Joseph, Ida (Pelletier), James, Freddie and Lena (Oulette).
Felix worked at many jobs during his lifetime, but he really loved working with horses. He was a trapper on the Berland for eight years, a carpenter for Forestry for awhile, and a guide for Fred Brewster for fifteen years. Later, he had his own outfit.
Felix Plante had a lot of respect for nature. He was very knowledgeable about medicinal roots, leaves, berries, sap and plants. He was a deeply religious man who always had a Bible and a Cree hymnbook close at hand. The pilgrimage to Lac Ste Anne was an important part of his life. Felix made his last pilgrimage in 1989. Access TV made a film about Felix entitled "Felix Plante, Mountain Man". Felix died at age 100 on August 28, 1994. His wife Caroline predeceased him in November of 1979. His daughter, Mary Desjarlais and family continue to live in the Grande Cache area.
John Glenn, who was a forest ranger in the area from 1920 to 1942, told an interesting story about Felix. Early in his tenure as a ranger, Glenn ran across the tracks of a very large grizzly. He foolishly went hunting for the beast on the Grave Flats by himself. Although Glenn did not see the grizzly while hunting, he did see some monstrous tracks in the light snow that fell as evening approached. Shortly thereafter, Felix Plante and Fred Brewster went hunting for the beast and found him. Fred fired at the bear and wounded him. At this point, the two split up. Fred tracked the wounded bear, while Felix found a spot to watch. It was a good thing that he did because the bear had started hunting Fred. Fortunately for Fred, Felix dispatched the bear with one shot, just in time.
Felix Plante was a typical “mountain man” who loved the mountains, the outdoors and guiding. It was legendary people like Felix who made the Grande Cache area accessible at a time when there were no roads, railways or airports in the area. Indeed, when he worked for Forestry, he helped to construct the telephone line from Entrance to Muskeg. The fact that a film was made about his life, adds testament to his legendary status. Felix died in 1994.