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Memorable Manitobans: Margaret [Marguerite] Wyckstandt Head (1917-2004)

Community activist.

Born at The Pas on 15 May 1917, she spent her early years on the trap line with her parents Harriet Louisa Buck (1889-1956) and Triphon “Tom” Wyckstandt (1885-1957), who was originally from Antwerp, Belgium, and her grandfather Matthew Buck and grandmother Jeannie, in the Reed Lake, Nelson House, Pine Root, and The Pas areas. On 9 September 1935, she married Alfred Robert “Curly” Head (1916-1986) at Cranberry Portage and they had eight children. During her lifetime, she lived at Flin Flon, The Pas, and Cranberry Portage.

She was the first woman of Cree ancestry to broadcast on CBC Radio in northern Manitoba. She was instrumental in establishing the first Cree crisis line in The Pas and was a founding board member of the Rosaire House Addiction Centre. She was one of the founding board members of Native Communications Inc. and served the organization for 19 years. Her commitment to the Alcoholics Anonymous program led her to assist others in finding the path to sobriety. In the 1960s and 1970s, she travelled to northern communities to pass on the message of AA and the 12-Step Program in the Cree language. Among her later accomplishments were becoming a member and elder of the West Broadway Aboriginal Resident Group and a member of Mothers of Red Nations.

She died at Winnipeg on 17 May 2004 and was buried in the Cranberry Portage Cemetery.

Sources:

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 22 May 2004.

This page was prepared by Lois Braun.

Page revised: 27 August 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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