Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Matonabbee (c1737-1782)

Interpreter, trader, “leading Indian”.

Born of Chipewyan (Dene) parents at Fort Prince of Wales, he was raised by Europeans at the fort. In the 1750s he was sent by the Hudson's Bay Company to serve as a mediator between the Aboriginals and the fur traders. He and his wives accompanied Samuel Hearne on his journeys from 1769 to 1772. He was proclaimed a “leading Indian” by the HBC in 1772. He committed suicide after the destruction of Churchill Factory in 1782.

See also:

The Life and Death of Matonabbee: Fur Trade and Leadership Among the Chipewyan, 1736-1782 by Strother Roberts
Manitoba History, Number 55, June 2007

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Matonobbee Plaque (Churchill, Prince of Wales Fort)

Matonabbee, Dictionary of Canadian Biography IV, 523-24.


Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 3 February 2013

Memorable Manitobans

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