Browse "History/Historical Figures"

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Crown

In a monarchy, the Crown is an abstract concept or symbol that represents the state and its government. In a constitutional monarchy such as Canada, the Crown is the source of non-partisan sovereign authority. It is part of the legislative, executive and judicial powers that govern the country. Under Canada’s system of responsible government, the Crown performs each of these functions on the binding advice, or through the actions of, members of Parliament, ministers or judges. As the embodiment of the Crown, the monarch — currently Queen Elizabeth II — serves as head of state. The Queen and her vice-regal representatives — the governor general at the federal level and lieutenant-governors provincially — possess what are known as prerogative powers; they can be made without the approval of another branch of government, though they are rarely used. The Queen and her representatives also fulfill ceremonial functions as Head of State.

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Cuthbert Grant

Cuthbert Grant, fur trader, Métis leader (born circa 1793 in Fort de la Rivière Tremblante, SK; died 15 July 1854 in White Horse Plains, MB). Grant led the Métis to victory at Seven Oaks in 1816 and founded the Métis community Grantown (later St. François Xavier), Manitoba, in 1824. Today, Cuthbert Grant is hailed as a founder of the Métis nation. (See also Indigenous Peoples in Canada.)

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D'Alton Corey Coleman

D'Alton Corey Coleman, railway executive (b at Carleton Place, Ont 9 July 1879; d at Montréal 17 Oct 1956). After acting as private secretary to Senator George Cox in 1897 and as editor of the Belleville Intelligencer, Coleman joined the CPR in 1899.

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Daniel de Rémy de Courcelle

Daniel de Rémy de Courcelle, governor of New France 1665-72 (b in France 1626; d there 24 Oct 1698). Courcelle, a nobleman and a military officer, arrived at Québec "breathing nothing but war" and determined to defeat the powerful Iroquois Confederacy.

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Daniel Greysolon Dulhut

Daniel Greysolon Dulhut, coureur de bois, fur trader, explorer (b at St-Germain-Laval, France c 1639; d at Montréal 25 Feb 1710). Dulhut helped extend the French trading empire around the Upper Great Lakes.

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David Boyle

David Boyle, blacksmith, teacher, archaeologist, museologist, historian (b at Greenock, Scot 1 May 1842; d at Toronto, Ont 14 Feb 1911). Although apprenticed as a blacksmith on arriving in Canada in 1856, Boyle became internationally prominent as Canada's premier archaeologist before WWI.

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David Currie, VC

David Vivian Currie, VC, auto mechanic, welder, soldier, House of Commons sergeant-at-arms (born 8 July 1912 in Sutherland, SK; died 24 June 1986 in Ottawa, ON). During the Second World War, Major Currie was the only member of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps to be awarded the Victoria Cross (VC), the highest award for bravery among troops of the British Empire.

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David Spencer

David Spencer. Patron, b Toronto 27 Oct 1915; BA (British Columbia) 1938. A lawyer by profession, Spencer became a member of the music section of the Community Arts Council of Vancouver after World War II and served as its chairman for two years.

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David Thompson

David Thompson, explorer, cartographer (born 30 April 1770 in London, England; died 10 February 1857 in Longueuil, Canada East). David Thomson was called “the greatest land geographer who ever lived.” He walked or paddled 80,000 km or more in his life, mapping most of western Canada, parts of the east and the northwestern United States. And like so many geniuses, his achievements were only recognized after his death.

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De Meurons

 De Meurons, Swiss infantry regiment raised 1781; transferred 1795 to the British army. It served in India until October 1806, then moved to England, and was sent to Lower Canada in August 1813.

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Dekanahwideh

Dekanahwideh, "the Heavenly Messenger," reputed founder of the Five Nations Confederacy. He was said to have been born among the Huron of a virgin mother, and destined to bring peace and power to his people.

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Delos Davis

Delos Rogest Davis, KC, teacher and lawyer (born 4 August 1846 in Maryland, died 13 April 1915 in Anderdon Township, ON). Davis was the third Black lawyer in Canada and the first Black person appointed to the King’s Counsel in all of the British Empire.

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Demasduit

Demasduit (also known as Demasduwit, Shendoreth, Waunathoake, and Mary March), creator of a Beothuk dictionary (born 1796; died 8 January 1820 at Bay of Exploits, Newfoundland). Demasduit was a Beothuk woman taken captive by English fishers in 1819. She was subsequently sent to an Anglican missionary where she created a list of Beothuk vocabulary. After her death, her remains and those of her husband were taken to Scotland. After much lobbying, the remains were returned to Newfoundland in 2020. The Government of Canada has recognized Demasduit as a Person of National Historic Significance.

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Deskaheh

Deskaheh (also known as Levi General), Cayuga chief and speaker of the Six Nations Hereditary Council (born on the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford, Ontario in 1873; died at the Tuscarora Reservation, New York, on 25 June 1925).

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Dionne Quintuplets

Annette, Emilie, Yvonne, Cecile and Marie aroused worldwide attention after their birth at Corbeil, Ontario, to Oliva and Elzire Dionne on 28 May 1934. With only two previous cases on record, they were the only quintuplets to survive for more than a few days. This miracle, plus their baby cuteness, the poverty of their French Canadian parents, and the controversy over their guardianship, made them the sensation of the 1930s.