Dion, Joseph

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Dion, Joseph

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Joseph Francis Dion, 1888-1960, was born on the Onion Lake reserve, the son of Gustav Dion, a Metis, and Mary Dion, a Cree. He was educated at St. Anthony's Indian Residential School in Onion Lake, Saskatchewan. He married Elizabeth Cunningham of St. Albert in 1912. In 1915 he opened the first school on the Kehiwin reserve near Bonnyville, Alberta. He taught there for 24 years. In 1930 he founded the Metis Association of Alberta, and served as its president until his death. He wrote the History of the Cree Indian which was originally published weekly in the Bonnyville Tribune, 1958-1960, and was published as My Tribe, the Crees by the Glenbow-Alberta Institute in 1979. He was awarded the Gold Medal "Benemerenti" by Pope Pius XII in 1957 for his work among his people.


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