I had hoped that I would not have to rise and address the House to-night, because I have been, with other western members, attending hockey matches the last few days, and my voice is not as good as I would like it to be.
(Campbell, Debates, 21 Jan 1910, 2259)
Glenlyon Archibald Campbell was a frontiersman, pioneer, rancher, soldier and politician. He was born in Fort Pelly, North West Territories on 23 October 1863. He fought with the Boulton’s Scouts at the battle of Batoche during Louis Riel’s 1885 Rebellion. Fluent in Cree and other Native languages, he raised the 107th Battalion largely from western First Nations.
After two terms in the Manitoba provincial legislature (1903—1908), Campbell had been elected Conservative representative for Dauphin in the House of Commons. Following his defeat in 1911, he became chief inspector of Indian affairs in western Canada.
Following the outbreak of the Great War, Campbell petitioned the Militia Department to raise a unit of Indian warriors. Although initially denied, Campbell eventually received authorization to organize the 107th Timber Wolves. Half of the battalion was drawn from the Blackfoot, Cree and Ojibwa.
After the 107th arrived in England, Campbell managed to keep his battalion intact when it was reorganized as a pioneer unit. He argued that is Indian soldiers were ideally suited to pioneer work on the front. The 107th deployed to France in February 1917.
After distinguishing themselves at the battle of Hill 70 in August 1917, General Arthur Currie praised Campbell: “I want you to know that I do not forget that the Pioneers are entitled to their share of the credit which has come to the Corps from these successes.” Campbell earned the D.S.O. and two mentions in dispatches.
Campbell fell ill in early October and was admitted to hospital. He died from kidney failure on 20 October 1917.
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