Thomas Woolsey referred to
Benjamin Sinclair as a minister "in true
Methodist fashion." He served
as a spiritual leader and taught his
peers and their families to read and write Cree syllabics. In doing so,
a Methodist presence west of Norway House
for seven years and was the bridge between the British Wesleyan
missionaries and the
Methodist missionaries who arrived in 1855.
One of Robert Rundle's aims was to develop alternative
food sources for the people living in the area. With the establishment of
the mission at Pigeon Lake his first actions were preparing and planting
of a garden. The task of maintaining and further developing these
was Benjamin's. A monument at Rundle's Mission today acknowledges the
farming efforts of early missionaries.
Sinclair became an important leader in the Whitefish Lake
community. He was not only a devout Methodist, but an advocate of the
importance of schooling. He was an assistant and close friend to Henry
Steinhauer, sharing thoughts on religious matters and the more prosaic tasks of daily life.
His life and work emphasize the efforts of Aboriginal peoples
to continue the work begun by missionaries such as Robert Rundle.