Charlie–also known as “Half-a-day Charlie”–was Du Vernet’s “Indian canoeman” for his trip on the Rainy River. Working as a canoe guide was a common occupation for Ojibwe men in the 1890s, and missionaries were frequent customers. Charlie received $1.75 for two days of work, which would translate to approximately $50 today.
Interestingly, Du Vernet mentions Charlie’s spiritual practices of “facing both ways” twice in the diary. On July 14, he writes that Charlie “listened attentively” during Christian prayers and hymn singing at Mr. Wood’s house. Then on July 20, at Long Sault, he records hearing that Charlie was participating in the Ojibwe “long tent,” or what he also called the “medicine tent.”