The Stories of Francis Pegahmagabow
Francis Pegahmagabow (1889–1952), a member of the Ojibwe nation, was born in Shawanaga, Ontario. Enlisting at the onset of the First World War, he became the most decorated Canadian Indigenous soldier for bravery and the most accomplished sniper in North American military history. After the war, Pegahmagabow settled in Wasauksing, Ontario. He served his community as both chief and councillor and belonged to the Brotherhood of Canadian Indians, an early national Indigenous political organization. Francis proudly served a term as Supreme Chief of the National Indian Government, retiring from office in 1950.
Francis Pegahmagabow’s stories describe many parts of his life and are characterized by classic Ojibwe narrative. They reveal aspects of Francis’s Anishinaabe life and worldview. Interceding chapters by Brian McInnes provide valuable cultural, spiritual, linguistic, and historic insights that give a greater context and application for Francis’s words and world. Presented in their original Ojibwe as well as in English translation, the stories also reveal a rich and evocative relationship to the lands and waters of Georgian Bay.
In Sounding Thunder, Brian McInnes provides new perspective on Pegahmagabow and his experience through a unique synthesis of Ojibwe oral history, historical record, and Pegahmagabow family stories.
“Sounding Thunder is invaluable for those working in biographical, historical, Indigenous, military and political studies and the general reader. McInnes skillfully contextualizes his subject as one of Canada’s greatest war heroes as well as a member of his family, community, and Anishinaabe people.”
– Brock Pitawanakwat, Assistant Professor, Department of Indigenous Studies, University of Sudbury
“Sounding Thunder is brilliant, a vital Anishinaabe story as well as a grand North American legend come to life on the page. Brian McInnes offers the reader both a deeply engaging oral history and an important historical record, and in doing so, he gifts us a significant piece of this puzzle that we call Canada.”
– Joseph Boyden, author of Three Day Road and The Orenda
About the Author
Brian D. McInnes is a faculty member in the Department of Education at the University of Minnesota Duluth. A member of the Wasauksing First Nation, Brian is a great-grandson of Francis Pegahmagabow.
Other contributors: Waubgeshig Rice (Foreword)
- Sounding Thunder: The Stories of Francis Pegahmagabow
- Brian D. McInnes (Author)
- Published September 2016, 192 pages
- Paper, ISBN: 978-0-88755-824-5, 6 × 9, $24.95
- Topic(s): Autobiography, History, Indigenous Studies, Military History
- Part of the U of M Press series: Critical Studies in Native History