James Gladstone (Magill's Choice: American Indian Biographies, Revised Edition)
Article abstract: James Gladstone was the first aboriginal senator in Canada.
Although of Métis and Cree ancestry, James Gladstone attended an Anglican mission school on the Blood Reserve in Alberta. He spoke fluent Blackfoot and married Janie Healy, a Blood tribe community member, in 1911. It was not until 1920 that he became a treaty member of the Kainai (Blood) tribe. Before he was a political figure, he was a typesetter, then an interpreter and scout for the mounted police on the Blood Reserve. He was then a successful farmer on the reserve, owning some 800 acres.
Gladstone attended his first meeting of the Indian Association of Alberta (IAA) in 1946, and four years later he was elected IAA President. As president, he was able to travel outside Alberta and speak out against the oppression caused by the Indian Act.
During the 1950's, members of First Nations (Canadian Indian tribes) were still not allowed to vote in federal elections. Prime Minister John Diefenbaker believed that aboriginal peoples should be represented in the Canadian Senate, and he appointed Gladstone to the Senate in 1958. (First Nation members were given the right to vote in 1960.) As a senator, Gladstone was an advocate for First Nations throughout the country. During his thirteen years in the Senate, Gladstone pursued issues such as increased aboriginal self-governance, improvement of education, and better economic development on First...
(The entire section is 264 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!