John Sunday | The Canadian Encyclopedia


John Sunday

John Sunday (called Shah-wun-dais, meaning "sultry heat"), Mississauga (Ojibwe) chief, Methodist missionary (born 1795 near Black River, New York; died 14 December 1875 in Alderville, ON).

Early Life and Community Leadership

Shah-wun-dais fought during the War of 1812 in alliance with the British. There is indication that he was acknowledged as chief by his people. As chief, he presented the land claims of his community to the government of Upper Canada as well as to Queen Victoria during his visit to England in 1837.

Missionary Work

An eloquent speaker in Ojibwe, he was a travelling missionary in the Lake Superior region. In 1836, Shah-wun-dais was ordained as a regular minister. After his return from a trip to Britain in 1837, he served for 20 years at missions at Alderville, Rice Lake and Muncey. Among his Methodist brethren, Shah-wun-dais was in constant demand as a speaker at church gatherings.