Peter Lewis Paul

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Étudiants des Premières nations malécites (Wulustukwiak) sur les marches d'un externat indien près de Woodstock (Nouveau-Brunswick). Le garçon assis à l'extrême droite a été identifié comme étant Dr Peter Lewis Paul, 1902-1989.  

Peter Lewis Paul (1902 – August 25, 1989[1]) was a Maliseet ethnohistorian who, from the 1930s on, helped and advised many of his contemporaries in exploring Maliseet culture.

Birth and Childhood[edit]

Peter Lewis Paul lived on the small Maliseet Woodstock Reserve on the banks of the Saint John River in New Brunswick, Canada. His mother and twin brother died in childbirth. Peter's father worked in a lumber camp, but after he left the reservation Paul was raised by his grandfather Nowell Polchies, who was a tribal elder and known as Wapeyit piyel. Paul grew up hunting and learning family and tribal lore from his grandfather (his grandmother died in childbirth on the same day that Paul's mother did).

Adult Life[edit]

Paul married Minnie Dedham (1908–1974), granddaughter of Chief Gabe Atwin, in 1928. Together they had nine children: Rowenna, Donna, Carole, Diana, Wanda, Reggie, Bobbie, Billy and Darryl. Peter respected the value of mainstream education, and tried to give his children the best education possible, but it came at the expense of their not learning their native language.

Paul became a fountain of traditional knowledge and generously shared information with numerous professional linguists, ethnohistorians, and anthropologists. The recipient of many honors, he was awarded a Centennial Medal in 1969, received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of New Brunswick in 1970, and the Order of Canada on June 29, 1987.


Peter Lewis Paul died on August 25, 1989 and was buried at the Calvary Cemetery in Woodstock, Carleton County, New Brunswick, Canada.



  • Hess, Thom. "A Note on Nitinaht Numerals." International Journal of American Linguistics Vol. 56, No. 3 (Jul., 1990), pp. 427-431 JSTOR 1265517
  • Teeter, Karl V. ed. 1993. "In Memoriam Peter Lewis Paul 1902-1989." Canadian Ethnology Service, Mercury Series Paper 126. Hull: Canadian Museum of Civilization ISBN 0-660-14013-6

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