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Senator James Gladstone 1887 - 1971

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      SEPTEMBER 1971      v02 n07 p01  
Senator James Gladstone Canada's first Indian Senator, James Gladstone from the Blood Reserve in Alberta, died of a heart attack Saturday, September 4 in Fernie, British Columbia.

Senator Gladstone was 84 and had served in the Canadian Senate from 1958 to 1970 when he retired. He is survived by his wife, two sons and four daughters.

The Senator's Indian name was Akay - Namuka which means Many Guns.

He was born near Mountain Hill, Alberta in 1887. Later he attended the Anglican Mission school on the reserve until 1903 when he transferred to the Indian Industrial school at Calgary where he apprenticed as a printer.

He left school in 1905 and worked as an interpreter on his home reserve and also wrangled cattle on ranches in the Fort Macleod area. Six years later, the R.C.M.P. hired him as chief scout and interpreter in the West. He later served as mail carrier for the Blood Indian agency.

Noted for his progressive ideas about farming, Senator Gladstone and his two sons built up a prosperous 720 acre ranch-farm with 400 hereford cattle. Early in the 1920's, he introduced the first tractor to the Blood Indian reserve and encouraged his fellow Indians to accept modern farming methods.

When Diefenbaker was swept into office in 1957, one of his campaign promises was to appoint a Senator for the Indian people. Senator Gladstone was appointed January 31st, 1958 and sworn in on May 12 of the same year.

This soft spoken but effective fighter constantly sought a new deal for the Indian people. He believed that the dawn of a new life for Canadian Indians was just around the corner.