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Pitikwahanapiwiyin (Poundmaker), Cree chief (born circa 1842 in central SK; died 4 July 1886 in Blackfoot Crossing, AB). Remembered as a great leader, Pitikwahanapiwiyin strove to protect the interests of his people during the negotiation of Treaty 6. Considered a peacemaker, he did not take up arms in the North-West Resistance. However, a young and militant faction of his band did participate in the conflict, resulting in Pitikwahanapiwiyin’s arrest and imprisonment for treason. His legacy as a peacemaker lives on among many Cree peoples, including the Poundmaker Cree Nation in Saskatchewan.
Loyalists in Canada
Loyalists were American colonists, of different ethnic backgrounds, who supported the British cause during the American Revolutionary War (1775–83). Tens of thousands of Loyalists migrated to British North America during and after the war. This boosted the population, led to the creation of Upper Canada and New Brunswick, and heavily influenced the politics and culture of what would become Canada.
(This is the full-length entry about Loyalists in Canada. For a plain-language summary, please see Loyalists in Canada (Plain-Language Summary).)
His willingness to allow French law and custom in the courts further alienated the merchants and led to his recall in April 1766 and he left Canada in June. Though charges were dismissed, he did not return to Canada though he retained nominal governorship until April 1768.
Palbinder Kaur Shergill
Palbinder Kaur Shergill, QC, judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in New Westminster (born in Rurka Kalan, Punjab, India). Shergill spent 26 years practising law before she was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. She was the first turbaned Sikh woman to be appointed as a judge in Canada.
John Callihoo, politician, Indigenous-rights leader (born on Michel First Nation, Alberta 1882; died in St Albert, Alberta 11 Aug 1957). Of Haudenosaunee-Cree descent and self-educated, he was a freighter and then a farmer, but his leadership capabilities soon made him a rallying point for Indigenous causes.
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.
Balarama Holness, professional football player, jurist, political activist, social entrepreneur (born 20 July 1983 in Montreal, QC). Balarama Holness put a wayward youth behind him to become a Grey Cup-winning professional football player with his hometown Montreal Alouettes. He then pursued a career as a jurist and political organizer and ran for mayor of the borough of Montréal-Nord in 2017. His community organizing efforts led to two separate reports (in 2019 and 2020) that acknowledged the existence and extent of systemic racism in the province, while also recommending solutions. In 2021, Holness ran to become mayor of Montreal but was defeated.
Bertha Wilson, née Wernham, lawyer, judge (b at Kirkcaldy, Scot 18 Sept 1923; d at Ottawa 28 April, 2007), first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Jagmeet Singh “Jimmy” Dhaliwal, leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada 2017–present, MP, MPP, lawyer (born 2 January 1979 in Scarborough, ON). Jagmeet Singh served as an Ontario MPP from 2011 until 2017, when he won the leadership of the federal New Democratic Party (NDP). This made him the first racialized leader of a major national political party in Canada. He was also the first turban-wearing Sikh elected to the Ontario legislature. Singh has consistently rated higher than other federal party leaders in public opinion polls but has yet to translate that into national electoral success. He has been the Member of Parliament for Burnaby South since 2019.
Helen Mamayaok Maksagak
Helen Mamayaok Maksagak, CM, politician, public servant, community leader (born 15 April 1931 in Bernard Harbour, NT [NU]; died 23 January 2009 in Cambridge Bay, NU). Maksagak was the first woman and Inuk to serve as the commissioner of the Northwest Territories. A vocal and engaged advocate for Inuit affairs, she contributed to efforts to establish Nunavut as Canada’s third territory in the 1990s. In March of 1999, she was chosen as the first commissioner of the newly created Nunavut territory; her term lasted until March 2000. Maksagak returned to a formal political role in November 2005, when she was appointed deputy commissioner of Nunavut. In addition to her political career, Maksagak performed advocacy work, focusing on Inuit and, more broadly, Indigenous initiatives, such as improving access to social services.
Henry Arthur Smitheram
Henry Arthur Smitheram, "Butch," politician, public servant (b at Penticton, BC 8 Jan 1918; d at Keremeos, BC 14 Mar 1982). Smitheram was a nonstatus Indian, his Okanagan mother having lost her status upon marrying his English father.
Andrew Paull, Squamish leader, organizer, lobbyist (b at Squamish, BC 6 Feb 1892; d at Vancouver 28 July 1959). Born into a prominent family in the Durieu system at Mission Reserve No 1, Burrard Inlet, Paull was educated at the reserve school and became a longshoreman.
Gloria Mary Maureen George, Indigenous politician, activist and public servant (born 24 July 1942 in Hubert, BC). A tireless advocate for non-status Indians, George was elected president of the Native Council of Canada in 1975, becoming the first and only woman to lead a major Indigenous political organization.
Royals Who Lived in Canada
There have been royal tours of Canada since the late 18th century, but some royalty stayed for longer than a few days or weeks and became property owners and/or long-term residents of Canada. Some lived in Canada on official business as military leaders or governors general, while others fled war, revolution or the paparazzi to find a safe haven. Here are 10 examples of royalty who lived in Canada.
Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee — 2002
In 2002, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated the 50th anniversary of her accession to the throne of the United Kingdom, Canada and other Commonwealth realms. The occasion was the focus of widespread popular celebrations in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, as well as increased discussion and debate concerning the monarchy and its future. In October 2002, the Queen and her consort, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, travelled across Canada for 12 days to celebrate the Golden Jubilee with Canadians.
Régis Labeaume, mining executive, businessman, politician, 37th mayor of Québec City (2007-2021), born 2 May 1956 in Roberval, QC). During his leadership of Québec City, Labeaume attracted businesses and high-profile entertainers to his city, but he did not succeed in bringing back a coveted National Hockey League franchise.
Henry Wise Wood
Henry Wise Wood, farmer, farm leader (born 31 May 1860 on a farm near Monroe City, Missouri; died 10 June 1941 in Calgary, AB). Henry Wise Wood was one of the most powerful agrarian and political figures in Alberta from 1915 until his death in 1941. A member of a Christian sect that emphasized the need for Christian ethics in economic activities, he served as president of the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) from 1916 to 1931. Wood declined to become premier of Alberta in 1921 but played a powerful role in determining the government's policies and programs. He was a leader in the wheat pool movement that swept rural Alberta in 1923–24. He also helped develop the federal Progressive Party platform.
Herbert Greenfield, farmer, politician, businessman, premier of Alberta 1921–25 (born 25 November 1867 in Winchester, England; died 23 August 1949 in Calgary, AB). Herbert Greenfield immigrated to Canada in 1892. He established a homestead north of Edmonton in 1906. By 1921, he was president of the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and an interim vice-president of the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA).