National Indigenous History Month: Chief Peguis


Throughout the month of June as part of National Indigenous History Month we will be honouring the accomplishments and contributions of historical Indigenous Canadians, this week we did some research on Peguis, Saulteaux (Anishinaabe/Ojibwe) Chief.

Chief Peguis was born near Sault Ste Marie, Ont in 1774 and was a prominent leader of his own people, and became famous for his role in aiding the Selkirk settlers. Upon their arrival at Red River in 1812, he defended them, showed them how to subsist from the country, and later assisted the survivors after the Seven Oaks Incident.

Chief Pequis supported the Hudson's Bay Company in its bitter rivalry with the North West Company. In 1817 he signed a treaty with Lord Selkirk ceding lands along the Red and Assiniboine rivers for settlement.

Peguis and his wife were baptized by Anglican missionaries in 1840 and took the names William and Victoria King, their children adopting the name of Prince. In association with the Reverend William Cockran he helped to establish an agricultural settlement among the Saulteaux at St. Peter's, Dynevor—the first Anglican mission of its kind in the West.

For thirty years Chief Peguis was spokesman for his people against the misuse of Indian lands and was an ardent defender of Native rights until his death in 1864.

Want to learn more about Chief Peguis?

  • The Dictionary of Canadian History offers an extensive biography of the life of Chief Peguis.


Peguis. (2006). Hugh A. Dempsey sky. The Canadian Encyclopedia.

Hugh A. Dempsey, “PEGUIS,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 9, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed June 16, 2021,

Photo credit: Courtesy of the Archives of Manitoba, Installed 1982, St. Peter’s Church, PR 508 East Selkirk