Memorable Manitobans: Raoul McKay (1934-2014)
Educator, community activist.
Born into a trilingual (English, French, Michif) farming family of eleven children in 1934, he entered St. Paul’s College in 1953 and later received BA (1965) and BEd (1966) degrees from the University of Manitoba. He taught at Elphinstone School, started the Shilo Science Fair, and was Vice-President and President of the Shilo Teachers’ Society (1960s).
He taught courses in Native Studies at Brandon University and, in 1972, joined the Department of Native Studies at Trent University (Peterborough, Ontario). He completed an MA thesis entitled “The History of Treaty Four, 1873-1905” at the University of Manitoba (1973) and a doctoral dissertation entitled “A History of Treaty Five, 1875-1930” at the University of Toronto (1991). He became Head of the Department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba where he encouraged interdisciplinary learning and co-founded the Pre-Medicine Program for native people. He served as Chair of the Manitoba Advisory Council on Metis Arts and Cultural Activities and was a member of the Review Panel of the Powley Decision for the Province of Manitoba.
Following his retirement from post-secondary teaching, he established First Voice Multimedia in partnership with his wife. They produced over thirty documentaries on Aboriginal themes broadcast on CTV, APTN, and the Saskatchewan Communications Network, including La Voix des Mechif, The Life and Work of the Woodland Artists, and The Life and Work of Daphne Odjig.
In recognition of his community service, he received the Manitoba Metis Federation’s Distinguished Leadership in Education Award (2009) and the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation’s Education Award (2010).
He died at Winnipeg on 24 August 2014.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 27 August 2014.
We thank Leah LaPlante, Frances Kasper, and Monique McKay for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 14 June 2019