His Ojibway name was Binaaswi, translating roughly to "the wind that blows off."

 How apposite it is, then, that a hard wind was blowing off the choppy waters of Ontario's Georgian Bay when the most decorated Indigenous soldier in Canada's history was finally given an honour befitting his story.

History largely remembers him as Corp. Francis Pegahmagabow — the deadliest sniper and scout of the First World War, credited with 378 kills and 300 captures.

On Tuesday, National Aboriginal Day, a life-sized bronze monument of Pegahmagabow was unveiled in Parry Sound, Ont., almost 100 years after he earned his first medal for courage in battle. It was a tribute that many believe should have come sooner.

"He was a warrior chief," said Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, before a packed crowd — one that included Lt.-Gen. Marquis Hainse, commander of the Canadian Army — gathered at the shores of the bay. The wind carried his words into the distance. Beside Bellegarde as he spoke, the monument: Pegahmagabow standing defiantly with an eagle perched on one arm; his right hand in a fist; a Ross rifle slung over his shoulder; a caribou at his feet to represent his clan.

Bellegarde said that on this day, there was no other place in Canada he'd rather be because the tribute to Pegahmagabow so aptly encapsulated how the process of reconciliation can start to take shape.


Responses to "Legendary Ojibway sniper unsung hero of WW I honored with bronze statue"

  1. Mary Mac says:

    Thank you for introducing me to this brave and incredible man. Until today I knew nothing about him but now I'll be looking to know more about his life. The statue is a marvel .. it's shows courage and strength and a story sadly many of us never knew... so Thank you!

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