CHICHIKATELO (Chichicatato), chief of the Miamis at St Joseph River, devoted to the French and to Catholicism; d. 1701.
Chichikatelo was the emissary of the Miami Indians to Governor Callière’s peace conference of 1701 between the French, their allies, and the Iroquois. An accomplished orator, highly regarded by both his own people and the French, he was described by Le Roy de La Potherie as “a personage of singular merit, with a bearing reminiscent of that of the Roman Emperors.” In his address to the tribes assembled at Montreal, he expressed an intense desire for peace, despite the fact that the Iroquois had burned his son to death a few years earlier. To demonstrate his good faith, he presented eight Iroquois prisoners, some of whom had been ransomed from other tribes, and he intimated that he would have brought more had his people not been obliged to travel with their Huron neighbours, being unaccustomed themselves to the use of canoes. Alluding to the failure of the Iroquois to bring their prisoners, he expressed misgivings about their sincerity but resolved to turn over his captives nevertheless, trusting in God to punish those who violated the treaty’s terms.
During the discussions which followed the formal ratification of the peace, Chichikatelo scorned those allied chieftains who were demanding guarantees from Callière for their safe return west. He contended that such matters were decided by God alone and, when he himself fell fatally ill a few days later, he asked only that his people not blame the French. So greatly did he symbolize fidelity to the French, that future Miami delegations to Governor Rigaud de Vaudreuil used his name in expressions of allegiance and in begging forgiveness for the periodic crimes of their tribesmen.
In 1702, Father Claude Aveneau, a missionary at St Joseph River, opposed the efforts of Laumet, dit de Lamothe Cadillac, to gather all the Miami Indians at Detroit on the grounds that Governor Callière’s last instructions to Chichikatelo in 1701 had been to bring the Miami nation together at St Joseph River. The missionary took this stand even though Chichikatelo’s family was evidently prepared to migrate to Detroit.
AN, Col., C11A, 19, f.42; 20, f.220v; 21, ff.68–68v, 85–86. Charlevoix, History (Shea), V, 143–44. Indian tribes (Blair), II, 136. La Potherie, Histoire (1722), IV, 207–8, 233, 244–45, 254–55, 260–62. Michigan Pioneer Coll., XXXIII,. 123–24. NYCD (O’Callaghan and Fernow), IX, 723.