Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 140 years


Pay & Donate in the MHS Online Shop

Endangered Top 10
Top 10

Jens Munk at Churchill
Field Trip:

Manitoba History No. 89

No. 89

War Memorials in Manitoba
in Manitoba

This Old Elevator
This Old

Abandoned Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans

Historic Sites of Manitoba
Historic Sites
of Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans: Ahab Spence (1911-2001)

Cleric, politician.

Born at Split Lake on 1 July 1911, son of Hector and Eliza Spence, he attended school at MacKay Residential School in The Pas, and also the schools at Elkhorn and Mortlach, Saskatchewan. He attended high school at Prince Albert, Saskatchewan then entered the Anglican clergy, through which he ministered to First Nations people at Stanley Mission, Saskatchewan from 1934 to 1937. In 1937 he earned a doctorate in Theology from Emmanuel College at the University of Saskatchewan. He served as a priest from 1937 to 1965, and a canon as 1955 to 1959. He was also Arch Deacon in the Diocese of Saskatoon from 1959 to 1963. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Saskatchewan in 1964. The following year, he took a leave of absence from the clergy in order to work in the secular world with First Nations communities. He was the Community Liaison Officer for the Saskatchewan Department of Northern Affairs. In 1968 he became the chief of the cultural development division of Indian Affairs in Ottawa. He worked there until 1970 when he joined the Manitoba Indian Brotherhood (MIB) as a staff representative, and in 1974 he became the second President of the MIB after the retirement of Grand Chief David Courchene, serving until 1976. In recognition of his community service, he was inducted into the Order of Canada (1982). He died on 5 April 2001.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 7 April 2001, page 55.

This page was prepared by Angela Graham and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 14 January 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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 | 2017

Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  | Our Inspiration | Acknowledgements

Support the MHS and

Back to top of page


To report an error on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

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

© 1998-2019 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.