Canadian War Museum bringing artifacts to Parry Sound to honour Corporal Francis PegahmagabowJune 20, 2016
For immediate release
Ottawa, Ontario, June 20, 2016 — Three significant artifacts from the Canadian War Museum’s collection will be escorted to Parry Sound, Ontario for the unveiling of a life-sized bronze statue honouring Corporal Francis Pegahmagabow, the most decorated First Nations soldier in Canadian military history. At the unveiling event on June 21, the Museum will display medals awarded to Corporal Pegahmagabow as well as the type of rifle and uniform he would have been issued as a sniper in the 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion in the First World War.
“It is our privilege to support this event,” said Stephen Quick, Director General of the Canadian War Museum. “These objects help tell the story of Corporal Pegahmagabow and by bringing them to the Wasauksing First Nation, we hope to create a tangible link to part of their heritage.”
An Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) youth born on the shores of Parry Sound, in what is now Shawanaga First Nation reserve, Corporal Pegahmagabow was one of the first to enlist in 1914. Only a few weeks after he volunteered, he became one of the original members of the 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion. He fought overseas until the end of the war and participated in some of its most horrific battles, including the Second Battle of Ypres, the Battle of the Somme and Passchendaele. A skilled scout and marksman, he became the war’s most effective sniper and was honoured with the Military Medal in 1916 for great bravery, disregard for danger and faithfulness to duty. He was one of only 39 members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force to receive two bars to the Military Medal for additional acts of valour.
Following the war, Pegahmagabow became an advocate for First Nations rights and served as chief of his Parry Island band, Wasauksing First Nation.
The medals, which are normally on display in the First World War gallery at the Canadian War Museum, will travel — in a protective viewing case — to Parry Sound and will be displayed on June 21 only. Collections specialists will be on hand to answer any questions about all three objects.
The Canadian War Museum is Canada’s national museum of military history. Its mission is to promote public understanding of Canada’s military history in its personal, national and international dimensions. Work of the Canadian War Museum is made possible, in part, through financial support from the Government of Canada.
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Director, Public Affairs
Canadian War Museum
Avra Gibbs Lamey
Senior Communications and Media Relations Officer, Canadian War Museum