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In Their Own Voices

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Dog TrainJohn McDougall's parents, George and Elizabeth, had a great influence on their son. When he was just a child they converted to Methodism and John received theological and missionary training. As a result, he grew up attending mission schools and learning to speak Ojibwa and Cree. By the time his father was appointed superintendent for Western missions and given his first posting at Rossville, John was 18 and had decided to follow his parents.                      

Kill BearJohn soon joined Thomas Woolsey at the Victoria Mission on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River to prepare the site his father had chosen as his home and mission headquarters. He eagerly anticipated and worked towards his ordainment, which occurred in 1871 (although John had already been working as a missionary, assisting his father as a teacher and interpreter, and opening the Pigeon Lake Mission). He requested college training, but was denied, instead gaining his knowledge from working directly with the people on the Western plains.

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