Memorable Manitobans: Lawrence James “Lawrie” Barkwell (1943-2019)
Civil servant, historian.
Born at Peterborough, Ontario on 26 August 1943, son of Stewart Barkwell (c1914-2003) and Betty Louise Newman (1917-2006), he moved to Winnipeg with his family and attended Kelvin High School, University of Winnipeg (BA Honours, 1970), and Lakehead University (MA Clinical Psychology, 1976). He worked for Manitoba Hydro and for the Manitoba government as a probation officer (1970-1994), area director in the Department of Justice (1970-1994), and policy analyst for the Children and Youth Secretariat and Aboriginal and Northern Affairs (1994-1997) before being seconded as a policy analyst to the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) in 1997.
He retired in 2004 but continued to be active with the MMF, as Director of its Metis Justice Institute (2003-2006) and voluntary coordinator of Métis Heritage and History Research at the MMF’s Louis Riel Institute (2007-2019). He taught Metis decorative arts to youth and adults. He was the first non-Metis person to receive an honorary MMF citizenship, in 1990. He wrote or co-write some 26 books, chapters in books, or articles on Metis history. He served on the board of the Friends of Upper Fort Garry (2011-2019) and was a director of Pemmican Publications (1997-2005). In recognition of his community service, he received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012).
He died at Winnipeg on 26 September 2019. He was predeceased by his wife Diana Weekes (?-2016) and survived by two children.
Obituary [Stewart Barkwell], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 February 2003.
Obituary [Betty Louise Barkwell], Winnipeg Free Press, 17 June 2006.
Obituary [Diana Barkwell], Winnipeg Free Press, 24 December 2016.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 11 October 2019.
We thank Jill Kreamer for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 11 October 2019