Kahkewaquonaby: Visions of Equality and Mississauga Self-Determination in the 19th Century

When and Where

Thursday, April 27, 2023 1:00 pm to 2:15 pm


Roxanne Korpan
Darin Wybenga


Peter Jones (1802–1856) was an Ojibwa Chief (known as Kahkewaquonaby), a Methodist minister and an English-Anishinaabemowin translator. This session is about Peter Jones' advocacy for the establishment of schools for his people and the drafting of a constitution. It touches upon the tension between his vision and that of the colonial government of that era.

This online session, organized by the E.J. Pratt Library, includes two brief presentations, followed by an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and contribute to a discussion.  

Roxanne Korpan will discuss Peter Jones' involvement in a General Council held at Orillia in 1846, which was attended by other Mississauga and Mohawk leaders as well as church and colonial government leaders. At this meeting, settler leadership promised the attending Indigenous Nations that manual labour schools (also called residential schools) would lead to equality and independence, a vision of education shared by Jones. But when the agreements made at Orillia were implemented, the government instead endorsed a model of education that paved the way for the violent assimilation enacted through the national system of residential schools for Indigenous children.

Darin Wybenga, will present on Peter Jones/Kahkewaquonaby's drafting of a Constitution for the Mississaugas in 1830 and how it encompassed two different ideologies. The language of the constitution referred to the traditional ways and knowledge of his nation but also espoused the language and legal framework of the colonial government. 

About the presenters

Roxanne Korpan is a settler researcher from Treaty 4 territory who recently completed her PhD at the University of Toronto's Department for the Study of Religion. Her dissertation focuses on how Kahkewaquonaby/Peter Jones envisioned Christianity as a way of mediating colonial dispossession, affirming Mississauga self-determination, and building mutually respectful relations with settler society. Roxanne is also a senior researcher with Archipel Research & Consulting, which is an Indigenous-owned firm specializing in research related to Indigenous communities and equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Darin Wybenga works for the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation as the Traditional Knowledge and Land Use Coordinator for their Dept. of Consultation and Accommodation. This work primarily consists of educating project proponents about the history of the treaty lands, territory, and people of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Prior to working with the MCFN, Darin taught history and geography and served as vice-principal and curriculum coordinator in elementary schools in Southern Ontario.

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E.J. Pratt Library, Victoria University