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Budd, Henry (1812–75)

Henry Budd.
Saskatchewan Archives Board R-A4814

Henry Budd was the first First Nation person in North America to be ordained in the Anglican Church. Reverend Henry Budd’s contribution to the Canadian west centred on his ministry and his teaching of Cree. An orphan, Budd entered a missionary school as part of a Hudson’s Bay Company initiative providing Christian education for Rupert’s Land First Nations and Métis children; he left the mission school to train as a Hudson’s Bay Company clerk in 1827, and remained in the Company’s employ until 1837. He and his wife Betsy settled in the Red River area, where he taught at the St. John’s parish school. He spent the next thirteen years in W’passkwayaw (The Pas, Manitoba), where he taught school and conducted Anglican Church services.

In June 1840, Budd began a new school for First Nations children in the Cumberland House district. Following his ordination as an Anglican priest in 1850, Budd was assigned to the Mission at Nepowewin (Nipawin), where he remained until 1867. Budd’s last assignment sent him and his family back to The Pas; there he resumed teaching, as well as ministerial duties that included overseeing the communities of Nipawin, Cumberland House, and Carlton. Known for his eloquence, Henry Budd was also a gifted organizer. He was methodical, neat, thrifty, and was seen as an important role model for the communities where he taught. Budd was well known for translating Anglican scripture and prayer books into the Cree language. He was buried in the Pas, Manitoba; the road into Stanley Mission, Saskatchewan is named in his honour.

Elizabeth Mooney

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Further Reading

Heeney, B. (ed.). 1920. Leaders of the Anglican Church, Vol 2. Toronto: Toronto Mission, Project Canterbury.
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