PARRY ISLAND, ON, June 20, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, the Ontario Heritage
Trust and Wasauksing First Nation unveiled provincial plaques to
commemorate First World War hero and First Nations leader Chief Francis
The unveiling took place at Wasauksing Aboriginal Community Centre in
Parry Island, Ontario.
The plaques are provided in English, French and Ojibwe. The English
plaque reads as follows:
CHIEF FRANCIS PEGAHMAGABOW, 1889-1952
Francis Pegahmagabow, an Ojibwe of the Caribou clan, was born in
Shawanaga First Nation. He volunteered at the onset of the First World
War and served overseas as a scout and sniper with the Canadian
Expeditionary Force's 1st Battalion. He was one of 39 Canadian soldiers
awarded the Military Medal and two bars for bravery. He is Canada's
most decorated Indigenous soldier. After the war, Pegahmagabow settled
on Wasauksing First Nation, where he married and raised his family. He
was elected Chief and served from 1921 to 1925 and from 1942 to 1945,
and as a Councillor from 1933 to 1936. In 1943, he demonstrated
peacefully in Ottawa for Aboriginal rights and self-government. That
same year, Pegahmagabow and other Native leaders founded the
Brotherhood of Canadian Indians, the first national Aboriginal
organization. In 1949 and 1950 he was elected the supreme Chief of the
National Indian Government. A leading advocate for First Nations
rights, Francis Pegahmagabow provided distinguished service to his
homeland and honour to the Nishnaabe Nation.
The historical address was given by Dr. Brian "Waabishki-makwa" McInnes,
great-grandson of Francis Pegahmagabow. Charles "Maajiijiwan"
Petahtegoose, great-great grandson to Francis Pegahmagabow, read the
plaque text in the Ojibwe language and CBC journalist Reg Sherren read
the English plaque text. Scupltor Tyler Fauvelle spoke about his
life-size bronze sculpture commemorating Francis Pegahmagabow and a
performance was given by Wasauking Frist Nation School Little Spirit
Singers, a girl's hand drum group.
"It is an honour for the Trust to commemorate Chief Francis
Pegahmagabow, a man who dedicated his life to serving his country and
his community. His efforts as a soldier in the First World War did not
go unnoticed at the time, and the Trust is pleased to build on his
legacy as an Aboriginal leader, soldier and Canadian hero."
Thomas H.B. Symons, Chairman, Ontario Heritage Trust
"Francis Pegahmagabow's lasting legacy of service is a great example for
all Canadians. These provincial plaques will help all of us remember
the courage he showed in the First World War, and his perseverance in
fighting for First Nations rights."
The Honourable Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
The plaques will be permanently displayed at Wasauksing Aboriginal
The Ontario Heritage Trust's Provincial Plaque Program commemorates
provincially significant people, places and events in Ontario's
Since 1956, over 1,250 provincial plaques have been unveiled.
Find out more about the Ontario Heritage Trust and explore the Provincial Plaque Program.
The Ontario Heritage Trust is an agency of the Government of Ontario
dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting
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Ontario Heritage Trust
SOURCE Ontario Heritage Trust
Image with caption: "Francis Pegahmagabow, photographed in June 1945 while in Ottawa. Canadian Museum of History, 95293 (CNW Group/Ontario Heritage Trust)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150620_C9732_PHOTO_EN_43632.jpg
For further information:
about the Ontario Heritage Trust and the Provincial Plaque Program, contact Rose Windy Manigat at 416-325-5032 or firstname.lastname@example.org.