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Individuals

History of Canada's First Nations: Individuals (Glossary)

TermDefinition
Abishabis “Small Eyes,” d. 1843, Cree prophet of a millenarian religious movement that swept through northern Manitoba and Ontario during the 1840s; murdered a First Nations family near York factory, was arrested, and was murdered during his imprisonment.
Big Bear Mistahimaskwa, c. 1825-88, Cree-Ojibwa chief who refused to sign Treaty Six, working instead to unite the Cree and create an Indian territory. His band participated in the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, and Big Bear was convicted of treason-felony.
Joseph Brant Thayendanegea, 1472-1807, Mohawk chief, spokesman for his people, Anglican missionary, and British military officer during the US War of Independence.
Jean de Brébeuf 1593-1649, Jesuit missionary to the Huron who was captured and killed by the Iroquois during the Huron-Iroquois hostilities.
Major-General Isaac Brock 1769-1812, British officer who fought alongside Tecumseh at Fort Detroit. He was killed in the Battle of Queenston Heights.
John Cabot, Giovanni Caboto c. 1451-1498? Italian explorer financed by England who reached the shore of North America in 1497. He set out for the New World Again in 1498, but his ship disappeared.
Jacques Cartier 1491-1557, French explorer who reached what is now eastern Canada. France used his three voyages, between 1534 and 1542, as a basis for its claim to sovereignty of North America.
Samuel de Champlain c. 1570-1635, French geographer, explorer, and founded of Quebec (1608). His writing and maps provide the only extant information on the first 15 years of French occupation.
Crowfoot Isapo-Muxika, c. 1830-90, Blackfoot chief in what is now southern Alberta, a chief negotiator for Treaty Seven, and adoptive brother of Poundmaker.
Donnaconna d. 1539, Chief of Stadacona before 1536, when he and his sons Domagaya and Taignoagny were kidnapped by Samuel de Champlain and taken to France, where he died.
Sir James Douglas 1807-73, Governor of Vancouver Island (1851-63) and of British Columbia (1858-64), who earlier was Chief Trader (1835-9) and then Chief Factor at Fort Vancouver, and who was responsible for 14 treaties (1850-4) granting Aboriginal title to Coast Salish bands on southern Vancouver Island.
Gabriel Dumont 1837-1906, Buffalo hunter, Métis chief, and military strategist; Louis Riel’s military commander during the Northwest Rebellion, 1885.
William Duncan 1832-1918, Protestant lay missionary who, along with a Tsimshian chief, founded the “model” Aboriginal community of Metlakatla (1862-87).
Cuthbert Grant c. 1793-1854, Métis fur trader, North-West Company employee, and political leader who advanced the concept of the Métis nation; killed Robert Semple, governor of HBC-administered territories, near Seven Oaks (present-day Winnipeg) in a Métis route of HBC personnel.
Elijah Harper Oji-Cree chief from Red Sucker Lake and member of the Manitoba legislature (NDP, Rupertsland) who was instrumental in the failure of the Meech Lake Accord by withholding his vote for ratification.
William Henry Harrison 1783-1875, Soldier and colonial administrator who was the lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada during the 1837 rebellion and arranged the surrender by the Ojibwa of the Saugeen (“mouth of the river”) tract on the Bruce Peninsula in 1836.
Samuel Hearne 1745-92, HBC fur trader and explorer who, with his Amerindian guide, reached the Coppermine River (present-day NWT) in 1772 and later rebuilt Fort Churchill. His adoption of Amerindian methods of travel allowed him to become the first white man to reach the Arctic Ocean overland.
Thor Heyerdahl 1914-2002, Norwegian anthropologist who developed a theory that people from South America, not Asia, had populated Polynesia. To prove his thesis that sailors on rafts would travel the distances required for this, he sailed from Peru to Polynesia in the Kon Tiki, a replica of the balsa rafts made by South American Aboriginal people.
Henry Hudson fl. 1607-11, English explorer who searched for a northwest passage to China on behalf of first the English Muscovy Company and then the Dutch East India Company, for whom he also explored the Hudson River.
Sir William Johnson 1715-74, Military commander who was colonial Superintendent of Indian Affairs from 1755 until his death. He was married “after the custom of the country” to Mary Brant.
Rev. Peter Jones 1802-56, Mississauga-Welsh Métis and Methodist minister who advocated Amerindian control over their education system.
Kiala, Quiala fl. 1733-4, Fox chief who sought to unify the First Nations of the eastern seaboard to oppose the French.
Paul Legaic (Legaik, Legex) d. 1894, Tsimshian chief who, in 1862 and with 200 followers, settled in the model village created by a missionary at Metlakatla, a Tsimshian ancestral village.
Frederick Ogilvie Loft 1861-1934, Mohawk from Brantford, Ontario, and officer in the Forestry Corps who served in World War I; founder of the League of Indians in 1919.
Donald Marshall, Jr. 1953-2009, Mi’kmaq man released from prison in 1983 after spending 11 years in jail for a murder he did not commit; was acquitted in 1999 in a landmark court case involving Aboriginal right to fish out of season.
Matonabbee c. 1737-92, Chipewyan leader who worked for HBC and guided the first white man to reach the Arctic Ocean overland on his third excursion in search of the Coppermine River (1772).
Mawedopenais Ojibwa chief and leading participant in Treaty Three negotiations at Fort Francis in 1873.
Frederick Dobson Middleton 1825-98, Army and militia officer who led Canadian forces in the Northwest Rebellion, 1885, and accepted the surrenders of Louis Riel and Poundmaker.
Muquinna fl. 1786-1817, Quarreled in 1803 with the captain of a fur-trading ship over a defective gun, which led to the destruction of the Boston by a group of Nootka. He gave a magnificent potlatch that same year.
Neolin Mid-seventeenth-century Delaware prophet who urged Amerindians to avoid contact with whites and to return to their traditional values. His teachings influenced Pontiac. One of two men known as the “Delaware Prophet.”
Nescambiouit “He who is so important and so highly placed because of his merit that his greatness cannot be attained, even in thought,” c. 1660-1722, Pigwacket (Abenaki) chief who was first taken to France but returned in 1716 and attempted to forma pan-Amerindian alliance.
Major John Norton Snipe, Teyoninhokarawen, fl. 1784-1825, Mohawk chief and army officer who worked as an interpreter and emissary for Captain Joseph Brant in dealing with Six Nations land claims and led Amerindian forces in several important battles of the War of 1812-14.
Peter Pond 1739/40-1807, Fur trader and explorer who recorded descriptions of the Fox and Sauk and later explored the North-West with the assistance of Amerindian guides, producing in 1784-5 a map of the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay and the area westward to the Rocky Mountains and northward to the Arctic.
Pontiac 1712/1725-69, Odawa war chief who attempted to unite First Nations to resist European settlement in the Great Lakes area. Some later turned against him, and he was assassinated by an Illinois at Cahokia.
Poundmaker Pitikwahanapiwiyin, c. 1842-85, Adopted son of Isapo-Muxika (Crowfoot) and a leader in Treaty Six negotiations. He was convicted of treason-felony following the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, though he sought to be a peacemaker during the hostilities.
Louis Riel 1844-85, Métis leader, founder of the province of Manitoba, and spiritual leader of the 1869-70 Riel Rebellion and the 1885 Northwest Rebellion; hanged for treason on 16 November 1885.
Tecumseh c. 1768-1813, Shawnee chief who fought American settlement in the Ohio area in the 1790s and later transformed a prophetic movement led by his brother into a movement aimed at retaining Amerindian land. He sided, reluctantly, with the British in the War of 1812-14 and died at the Battle of Moraviantown in 1813.
Tenskwatawa “Open Door,” 1775?-1836, Brother of Tecumseh who, following a series of prophetic visions in 1803, promoted a revival of traditional customs and values.
Paul Tessouat d. 1654, Algonkin orator chief of Allumette Island, also known as Le Borgne de l’Isle as he was blind in one eye, initially resisted the missionary efforts of the Jesuits but was later baptized. He exacted tolls (i.e. forced gift exchanges) from traders along the Ottawa River.
Thanadelthur d. 1717, A Chipewyan referred to the Slave Woman in the HBC records who was enslaved by Cree but escaped and travelled overland to Fort York. She was instrumental in negotiating peace between the Chipewyan and Cree.
David Thompson 1770-1857, HBC and later NWC fur trader and explorer who surveyed a route to the Churchill River and the area west of Lake of the Woods along the 49th parallel -- and was the first European to travel the Athabasca Pass through the Rockies to the west coast.
Created by: PRO Teacher LUTC