Amy Louise Clemons, CM (c1906-1989

Amy was at St. Peters, Manitoba, a great-great-granddaughter of Chief Peguis, her father’s early death caused her to leave school after grade 11 to work in Mission schools and hospitals before being employed at Dynevor Hospital near her home at Selkirk, Manitoba. She was later employed for ten years as a community worker in the Manitoba Friendship Centre in Winnipeg, returning to Selkirk as Executive Director of the Selkirk Indian-Métis Friendship Centre from which she retired in 1973. She was made an honorary citizen of Selkirk in 1972 and was named Woman of the Year by the Women’s Sales and Advertising Club of Winnipeg. In 1973, she was inducted into the Order of Canada for “her devoted social work and leadership in Indian Métis societies in Manitoba”. She received the queen Elizabeth II silver Jubilee Medal in 1977. She died at Selkirk on 14 September 1989 and was buried in the St. Peters churchyard cemetery. Sources: Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 16 September 1989, page 45. National Association of Friendship Centres Tribute
Amy Clemons, the great-great granddaughter of Chief Peguis was a perennial driving force behind the Friendship Centre Movement in Selkirk, Manitoba. A Friendship Centre original, Amy was the Selkirk Friendship Centre’s first Executive Director and helped establish the society from infancy to stability until her retirement in 1973. She was born and grew up near St. Peter’s, Manitoba. Five of her school years were spent in a residential school in Elkhorn, Manitoba. In May, 1970, Mrs. Amy Clemons was named “Women of the Year” by the Women’s Advertising and Sales Club of Manitoba. Shortly after that, Governor General Roland Michener announced she was a recipient of the Order of Canada. The Order of Canada was established in 1967 to recognize outstanding achievement and service in various fields of human endeavour. It is our country’s highest honour for lifetime achievement. In 1972, Selkirk Mayor Frank Malis presented Mrs. Clemons with an Honorary Citizens award at a surprise party in recognition of her many contributions for community service.

While involved with the Friendship Centre and community events, Amy took a leading role in several Manitoba Centennial events and was called upon to greet the Queen and Royal family on behalf of the descendants of Chief Peiguis. She was one of the original staff members of the Indian and Metis Friendship Centre (IMFC) in Winnipeg and remained with the IMFC for more than six years before being named Executive Director of the Selkirk Friendship Centre in 1968. Mrs. Clemons always thought one of the most important functions of the Friendship Centre was to provide a place for her people to gather. She recognized when they did gather - strangers or local people – that they could find people to talk to in their own language, offer advice, or just help them to find jobs or homes. She was President of the Women’s Auxiliary, St. Peter’s, Dynevor for many years and received her life membership from that group in 1953. For many years, she was the organist in the Old St. Peter’s Church. Amy Clemons was also an actress. The CBC made a film called “Death of a Nobody” based on an incident in Saskatchewan where an Aboriginal boy was murdered by some non-Aboriginal boys and nothing was done about it. Mrs. Clemons played the part of the murdered boy’s mother. Her and husband Bill resided in Betel Home in Selkirk, Manitoba until her passing into the Spirit World. Mrs. Amy Clemons is truly one of our cherished Pioneers of the Friendship Centre Movement and is remembered and revered as one of our original Spirits of Friendship.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful