William Yellowhead | The Canadian Encyclopedia


William Yellowhead

William Yellowhead (also known as Musquakie), Ojibwe Hereditary Chief (died 11 January 1864 at the Rama Reserve, Canada West). William Yellowhead was the Hereditary Chief of the Lake Simcoe Ojibwe and contributed to the creation of the Chippewa Tri-Council.

Life and Legacy

During the War of 1812, William Yellowhead, then in his thirties or forties, fought for the British. He had his jaw shattered by a musket ball. Yellowhead succeeded his father as Hereditary Chief of the Lake Simcoe Ojibwe (now Chippewas of Rama First Nation) in 1818 (see also First Nations in Ontario; Reserves in Ontario). He served as Chief for his community until 1844. Early in his time as Hereditary Chief, he was a signatory to the Lake Simcoe-Nottawasaga Treaty No. 18 (see also Upper Canada Land Surrenders). Additionally, he contributed to the creation of the Chippewa Tri-Council, an alliance of three Chippewa communities that continues to this day. He converted to Methodism in the late 1820s but later became an Anglican. As Hereditary Chief he kept the great wampum belt which recorded the final peace between the Ojibwe and the Haudenosaunee.

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