George Gordon First Nation


History of George Gordon

In 1874, Treaty 4 was established between Queen Victoria and the Cree and Saulteaux First Nations. On September 15 of the same year, Kaneonuskatew (or, in his English name of George Gordon) was among the first of the Indigenous leaders to make the agreement, signing as Chief of the George Gordon First Nation. By 1884, half of the families belonging to the nation were farming, a development which had commenced in 1876, and would continue for many years. Although both George Gordon and his son, Moses Gordon, were originally hereditary chiefs, the people have since adopted the practice of democratically voting their chiefs and councillors into office.

From 1889 to 1996, George Gordon First Nation was the location of the longest-running residential school in Canada. Attendance there devastated many members of the nation-state as children because of various forms of abuse. The schools have been proven to have allowed abuse of the children. The federal government has paid compensation and made apologies, but much damage was done. The residential schools, founded with positive intentions, created a dark chapter in Canadian history. On the First Nation, the Gordon Recovery and Wellness Centre provides services and support to the victims of the abuse that occurred at too many schools.