DECEMBER 20, 1918


Prompted by the 1911 “Oliver Act,” which amended the Indian Act so as to threaten the integrity of reserve lands, members of the Six Nations founded the League and elected Frederick Loft, a Mohawk World War I veteran, its first president.  The League, which was particularly successful in the West, fought for the preservation of reserve lands and against the involuntary enfranchisement provisions of the Indian Act.  The Federal government attempted to use those very provisions to remove Loft’s Indian status and derail the League.  In response, the League initiated legal challenges to validate Native claims to hunting, fishing, trapping, and other rights. The League was the first attempt by Canadian Natives to form a national organization, but difficulties of uniting Native voices, problems communicating over great distances, finding leadership across the country, and active opposition from Indian Affairs, led to its demise.  However, it evolved into the League of Indians of Western Canada.

Source:  “1919-Frederick Loft and the League of Indians,”  Retrieved 7/23/2019,
Photo:   Author unknown.  Date:  Between 1914-1918.  National Archives of Canada.  Likely Public Domain in Canada:  Pre-1/1/1949.  Likely Public Domain in the US:  Pre-1/1/1925.  Likely Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 70 years or less.  Also, likely qualifies for Fair Use as author is unknown and the subject is deceased.

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