Manitoba Historical Society
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Larry Phillip “Phil” Fontaine

Indigenous leader.

Born on the Sagkeeng First Nation on 20 September 1944, son of Jean-Baptiste Fontaine (?-1952) and Agnes Mary Spence (1912-1988), he attended the Fort Alexander Indian Residential School, Assiniboia Indian Residential School, and University of Manitoba (BA 1981). He served as Chief of the Sagkeeng First Nation (1973-?), Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (1989-1997), Chief Commissioner of the Indian Claims Commission (?-2003), and National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations (1997-2000, 2003-2009). He established a process for the settlement of Indigenous land claims, employment equity settlements for Indigenous workers, and the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (2005).

In recognition of his community service, he was inducted into the Order of Manitoba (2003) and Order of Canada (2013). He received honourary doctorates from the University of Winnipeg (2008), Brandon University (2010), and the University of Manitoba (2010). He received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002) and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012).

See also:

Woodsworth House Honours Shirley Olson and Phil Fontaine by Karen Botting and Ruth Swan
Manitoba History, Number 22, Autumn 1991


Marriage registration [Agnes Spence, J. Baptiste Fontaine], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Obituary [Agnes Fontaine], Winnipeg Free Press, 13 August 1988, page 32.

Obituary [Audrey Mary Fontaine], Winnipeg Free Press, 5 February 2022.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 31 May 2022

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