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James Gladstone

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Name  James Gladstone

Resigned  March 31, 1971
James Gladstone wwwglenboworgimagesarchpicsgladstonejpg
Born  May 21, 1887 Mountain Hill, Northwest Territories (1887-05-21)
Political party  Independent Conservative
Died  September 4, 1971, Fernie, Canada

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James Gladstone (Blackfoot or Siksika language: Akay-na-muka, meaning "Many guns") (May 21, 1887 – September 4, 1971) was the first status Indian to be appointed to the Canadian Senate.


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Gladstone was a Cree by birth but was adopted by the Blood Reserve on which he was born; the Blood belonged to the Blackfoot Confederacy. He attended St. Paul's Indian Residential School, an Anglican mission school on his reserve, until 1903, when he moved to an Indian industrial school in Calgary and apprenticed as a printer, interning at The Calgary Herald.

James Gladstone James Gladstone The Canadian Encyclopedia

After leaving school in 1905, Gladstone returned to his reserve where he worked as an interpreter. He also found work on ranches wrangling cattle. In 1911, he found work with the Royal Northwest Mounted Police as a scout and interpreter and also worked as a mail carrier on his reserve.

James Gladstone James Gladstone Canadas First Native Senator Fascinating

Eventually, Gladstone established himself as a farmer and rancher and worked with his sons to assemble 400 head of cattle introducing modern farming practices to the reserve.

James Gladstone James Gladstone

In 1949, Gladstone was elected president of the Indian Association of Alberta and was sent to Ottawa three times to press for improvements to the Indian Act. His acceptance by both Blackfoot and Cree assisted him in bringing the different groups together in one political organization.

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He was nominated to the Senate by Progressive Conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker in January 1958, two years before status Indians gained the vote in federal elections, and he pressed for Aboriginals to be enfranchised. He sat as an "independent Conservative" until he retired from the upper house in March 1971.

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A biography of Senator Jim Gladstone, written by Alberta historian Hugh Dempsey, is entitled The Gentle Persuader.

James Gladstone First status Indian senator commemorated on bank note Windspeaker

In 2017, the Bank of Canada unveiled a commemorative $10 banknote in honour of Canada 150, featuring Gladstone's portrait alongside Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir George-Étienne Cartier, and Agnes Macphail.

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James Gladstone Wikipedia

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