Abhiyan A.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver Heritage Fair

Francis Pegahmagabow- A legendary sniper

The project is on the contribution of corporal Francis Pegahmagabow, an Indigenous soldier, who became a legendary sniper of WWI with a record 378 successful hits. He was one of the bravest and most effective scouts who dispatched important war messages. A hero to his fellow comrades, for leading trapped soldiers out of situations that would have killed them.


What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

I have learned that although grown up as an orphan, his determination took him to become a remarkable war hero and a strong voice for his own community of indigenous peoples. When people believe in themselves, they can achieve beyond their imagination. A medicine pouch handed by a clan elder as a protection talisman made him believe that he was always safe, which intrigued him to pursue dangerous missions in the warfronts.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

He was resilient, despite official exclusion, he made into the enlisting to become a soldier, his dream profession, and proved his in the real war. War does more collective harm than just killing people. Win or lose, war always brings endless suffering (such as PTSD) to the surviving soldiers and their families. Soldiers carry their traumatic experience long after the war ended that affects a lot of their behaviour and social interaction with other people.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

I am extremely grateful for not being one of those people who were fated to fight dangerous wars for their country. War takes lives as its price, and countless soldiers never come back to see their families again. It’s agonizing even to think about it. It encourages me to work for peace in future, both at home, and globally.