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Dr Oronhyatekha, MD (1841-1907) is sometimes known as Dr Oronhyatekha Mohawk, and also carried the baptismal names of "Peter Martin", although he himself went simply by his only birth name, Oronhyatekha ("Burning Sky" in Mohawk).

In Mohawk regalia
Oronhyatekha was a Mohawk scholar, and a unique figure in the history of British colonialism. He was the first known Aborignal Oxford scholar; the first Aboriginal medical doctor in Canada; an enormously successful CEO of a multinational financial institution; a native statesman; an athlete of international standing; and an outspoken champion of the rights of women, children, and minorities. While all this would be remarkable in any age, that he achieved it during the Victorian era when racism and assimilation were official state policies, has made him a figure approaching legend in some Aboriginal circles.

Born 10 August 1841 at the Grand River Reserve near Brantford, Ontario, Oronhyatekha was selected at the age of twenty by the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy (consisting of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora Nations) to give the welcoming address to the Prince of Wales during his visit to New World.

Prince Edward was sufficiently impressed that he urged the young Oronhyatekha to attend the University of Oxford. Oronhyatekha matriculated at St Edmund Hall, Oxford in 1861.

In 1863, Oronhyatekha returned to Canada to marry Ellen Hill, and took a medical degree at the University of Toronto.

As his medical practice grew, he also became a figure of increasing importance in Victorian Canada. In 1871, be became a member of Canada's national rifle team, and in 1874, was elected the President of the Grand Council of Canadian Chiefs, the highest ranking native statesman in North America.

In 1878, he applied to become a member of the International Order of Foresters, a fraternal and financial institution. Although the order's statutes explicitly limited it membership to white men, Oronhyatekha was not only inducted as a member, but rose to become Supreme Chief Ranger of Foresters, the organisation's international CEO, in 1881, a position that he held for a record 26 years. During his tenure, he transformed the order into one of the wealthiest fraternal financial institutions in the Victorian world; today, it counts more than one-million members in North America and the European Union.

Ironically, the one achievement of which Oronhyatekha was most proud was the enterprise his contemporaries regarded as his only significant failure. In 1904, he created an orphanage on the Bay of Quinte, Ontario, which was universally seen as extravagant and excessive by Victorian standards. It opened for operations in 1906, and Oronhyatekha described it as his life's crowning achievement. He did not live to see it closed the following year, as he died in 1907.

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