Frederick Ogilvie Loft, Onondeyoh, Iroquois, 1861-1934
He was a Mohawk and former lieutenant during the First World War who organized the League of Indians of Canada after the war ended. Loft was one of “the great Indian activists of the first half of the twentieth century, whose struggles laid the groundwork from which recent activism emerged”. The League of Indians began in the east, with Loft as its first president. Loft's initial plan was to organize widely scattered bands for united collective action patterned after labour unions. He maintained that Indian peoples were facing the same problems and could only effect change by working together: “We must be heard as a nation”. Among the grievances uniting Aboriginal communities were amendments to the Indian Act that facilitated the sale of Indian reserve lands leading to the surrender and sale of hundreds of thousands of acres of some of the best Indian lands. For personal reasons Loft left the League for a few years. In this interval the government attempted to suppress further political activity and on his return Loft was unable to revive the eastern branch of the League because. Although Loft failed to make the League a national force, the western branches continued throughout the 1930s and often adopted Loft’s example of circumventing the Indian Affairs department and calling directly on members of Parliament for help. In the west, League activities continued under the leadership of John Tootoosis and Edward Ahenakew.

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