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Main  | Media Kit | Press Releases
Press Releases

June 19, 2006

Attention: Religion, News, Features, Lifestyle Editors

Canadian First Nations War Hero Celebrated in Historical Re-enactment

TORONTO, ON — Hollywood could not have come up with a better story. A First-Nations boy snatched out of his burning village by a Scottish soldier in 1760. Raised in Scotland by the soldier who saved his life, he had his own child, John Norton, who would make his way to Canada as a soldier. There Norton was attracted to the ways of the First Nations people he encountered and left the army to become Teyoninhokarawen—a First Nations warrior who led his Six Nations people as allies to the British, fighting against the Americans in the War of 1812.

But that’s not all he did.

One of Teyoninhokarawen’s most lasting legacies will be re-enacted and celebrated at 3:00 pm on June 25 at Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawks in Brantford, Ont. In 1804 this First Nations leader and war hero translated the Bible’s Gospel of John into Mohawk.

His gift to his people was the Gospel of John. His gift to the world was the first ever foreign translation of the Bible Society—a movement that would sweep the globe publishing, translating and distributing the Scriptures.

In Canada, that movement lives on in 2006, as the Canadian Bible Society celebrates 100 years of translating, publishing, distributing and encouraging the use of the Bible in Canada.

The June 25th commemoration includes a re-enactment of the arrival of the first 500 copies of the Gospel of John in Mohawk at the very spot where this special delivery took place 200 years ago.

A sacred service, featuring a First Nations “Four Directions Ceremony” will follow, including the premiere of a short movie about Norton’s life called, “I Take the Path: Story of a First Nation’s Hero.” The ceremony will also mark the release of a children’s book about Norton’s life and a Norton commemorative edition of the New Testament. Mohawk musician Johnathan Maracle will perform.

The highlight of the ceremony will be a reading from one of the original translations of the Gospel of John (only two are known to still exist) that Norton created for his people.

Media are invited to arrive at 2:30 pm for a special question and answer period with Dennis Hillis, district director of the South Central Ontario District of the Canadian Bible Society, and Mohawk performer Johnathan Maracle. A special media information kit with photos will be available.

[logo]See also: Photo Resources

Dennis Hillis


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