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Manitoba History No. 89
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Memorable Manitobans: Albert Ratton Sinclair (c1881-1949)

Cree leader, conservationist, civil servant, musician.

Once the Aboriginal chief of Cross Lake, his conservationist efforts resulted in the registration of 158 trappers in the Oxford House district and the mapping of trap lines in northern Manitoba. He worked as a schoolteacher in Catholic and Protestant schools for Aboriginals at Cross Lake and also served northern communities as a forest ranger, firefighter, game guardian, special constable for the RCMP at Split Lake and a provincial policeman at Cross Lake. For his conservation work, he received an award at a banquet of game officers in The Pas.

He was an accomplished musician who translated English hymns into Cree, tuned pianos in the area, played the violin, and performed at dances. He and his wife Jeannie McKay had twelve children: Charles Sinclair, Mabel Sinclair, Rosalie Sinclair, Catherine Sinclair, Isabel Sinclair, Joseph Sinclair, Jane Mary Sinclair, Eric Sinclair, John Albert Sinclair, Allan Sinclair, and Mary Sinclair

At the age of 69, he died on 9 June 1949 in his home.

Sources:

“Albert Sinclair, Indian chief dies Thursday,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 June 1949. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10, page 109]

We thank Shelley Turner and Karen Meier for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Sarah Ramsden and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 January 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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