Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 142 years

Memorable Manitobans: Catherine Malcolm [Ozhaawashko Bineshiikwe] (1911-2004)

Indigenous elder.

Born at Sandy Bay First Nation on 14 March 1911, daughter of Marie Roulette and Joe Spence, she married John Robert Malcolm on 6 May 1929 and had 16 children. Throughout her life, she was a renowned and respected teacher of Ojibway culture and traditions. The 1980 National Film Board production Nonoonse anishinabe ishichekewin ka kanawentank (Keeper of Anishinabe Traditions), filmed at Lake Manitoba, features the story of her mother taking her to Sugar Island as a child to collect sap from the maple trees growing there.

She taught such skills as maple sap-gathering, beadwork, hide-tanning, fishing, hunting, snaring, digging seneca roots, gathering traditional foods, preparing traditional recipes, and collecting herbal medicines—lore that had been passed down for many generations. An accomplished seamstress, she often helped her children and grandchildren create clothing for ceremonies and pow-wows. As a farmwoman, she enjoyed horseback-riding, gardening, and going on wagon- and sleigh-rides, along with farm work, such as birthing calves. As a music-lover, she sang and played the accordion. During her frequent recreational camping trips, she shared her wisdom, oral history, and traditional stories with extended family and friends.

She died at the Ebb and Flow First Nation on 11 June 2004 and is buried in the community cemetery.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 14 June 2004.

National Film Board,

This page was prepared by Lois Braun.

Page revised: 31 October 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  | Firsts | Acknowledgements

Support the MHS

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations

© 1998-2021 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.