MARCH 3, 1907


Born August 10, 1841, on the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford, Ontario, his Mohawk name meant “Burning Sky.”  Educated in Brantford, he entered Kenyon College & graduated in 3 years.  In 1860, his Welcoming Address to the Prince of Wales was so impressive that Oronhyatekha, in 1862, became the 1st Native person in Canada to study at Oxford University.  In 1866, he earned a medical degree at University of Toronto and, in 1876, received his license to practice.  Becoming, in 1872, Chairman, Grand Indian Council of Ontario & Quebec, he visited England often, and was in the Court of Queen Victoria.  In 1878, he joined the fraternal insurance company, Independent Order of Foresters (I.O.F.) and, by 1881, was CEO.  In 1907, after visiting old friend, President Theodore Roosevelt, Oronhyatekha died in Savannah.  In August 2005, Canada recognized him as a Figure of National Historic Significance.  He always used his Mohawk name.  “There are a thousand Peter Martin’s; only one Oronhyatekha.”  

Source:  “Doctor Oronhyatekha — A Mohawk Of National Historic Significance,” Bay of Quinte, 8/11/2018.  Retrieved 6/29/2020, 
Painting:  Frank Pebbles (1839-1928), c. 1896-7.  Public Domain.

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