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Can You Name These Famous Canadian Heroes?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s best-known heroes and heroines.

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Hawker Hurricane Fighter planesPhoto: Paulpixs/Shutterstock

Name This Canadian Hero

Woman who headed Canadian production of Hawker Hurricane fighter planes flown by Canadian and Allied airmen in the Battle of Britain.

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Elsie MacGillPhoto: Wikimedia Commons/Library and Archives Canada/Public Domain

Answer: Elsie MacGill

Known as the “Queen of the Hurricanes,” Elsie MacGill was the first woman to earn her master’s degree in aeronautical engineering (which she received in 1929) and became the first female engineer in Canadian history.

Learn about the Canadians who helped make D-Day a success.

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Great Wall of ChinaPhoto: Shutterstock

Name This Canadian Hero

Man who rode the Great Wall of China in a wheelchair to raise money for spinal cord research.

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Rick HansenPhoto: Wikimedia Commons/Francesco Cataldo /CC BY-SA

Answer: Rick Hansen

A three-time world champion in wheelchair racing, Hansen wheeled more than 40,000 kilometres in 34 countries to raise awareness for spinal cord research and wheelchair sports between 1985 and 1987.

Don’t miss these stories of other Canadian heroes!

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Young child in MadagascarPhoto: Shutterstock

Name This Canadian Hero

Young man, who at 12 years old, started “WE Charity,” an organization to fight against child slavery.

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Craig Kielburger in 2008Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ARamhit/CC BY-SA

Answer: Craig Kielburger

Kielburger was inspired to start WE Charity—formerly known as Free the Children—in 1995, when he read a newspaper article about the murder of 12-year-old Iqbal Masih, a former slave in Pakistan. Masih became an activist against child labour following his escape.

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Painting of the War of 1812Photo: Everett Historical/Shutterstock

Name This Canadian Hero

Woman who walked 20 miles through the bush and swamps to warn British soldiers of a pending American attack in the War of 1812. (A hint would be: chocolates!)

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Painting of Laura SecordPhoto: Wikimedia Commons/Lorne Kidd Smith/Public Domain

Answer: Laura Secord

In 1913, Frank P. O’Connor, the founder of a Toronto-based chocolate business, chose her name for his company because she was “an icon of courage, devotion and loyalty.”

Learn about the year Canada didn’t have a summer.

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Canadian highwayPhoto: Shutterstock

Name This Canadian Hero

Young man with an artificial leg who began in N.L, to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research in 1981.

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Statue of Terry FoxPhoto: meunierd/Shutterstock

Answer: Terry Fox

The annual Terry Fox Run has now been held in over 60 countries around the world, making it the largest one-day fundraiser in cancer research.

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Sign describing racial segregationPhoto: Everett Historical/Shutterstock

Name This Canadian Hero

N.S. woman who fought against racial segregation in 1946 and the first woman to have her photo on a Canadian bill. (The new $10.)

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Viola DesmondPhoto: Wikimedia Commons

Answer: Viola Desmond

Prior to her 1946 arrest, Desmond mentored many young Black women in Nova Scotia through her beauty school business. She died in 1965 at the age of 50. In 2010, she was granted a posthumous pardon—the first ever in Canada.

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Manitoba official flagPhoto: Shutterstock

Name This Canadian Hero

A founder of the province of Manitoba and a political leader of the Métis people seeking to preserve their rights and culture.

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Louis RielPhoto: Wikimedia Commons

Answer: Louis Riel

Riel was executed in 1885 for high treason. Initially regarded as a traitor by early Canadian historians, Riel is now commonly seen as a hero who fought to protect his people from the Canadian government.

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Medicine lodge of Siksika NationPhoto: Wikimedia Commons/Provincial Archives of Alberta

Name This Canadian Hero

A Siksika leader’s quote: “What is life? The flash of a firefly in the night. The breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. The little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”

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Chief CrowfootPhoto: Wikimedia Commons/Alex Ross/Public Domain

Answer: Chief Crowfoot

Crowfoot played an essential role in the passing of Treaty 7 in 1877: a deal in which the Canadian Crown promised the Blackfoot Confederacy financial compensation, hunting privileges and reservations in exchange for land rights of what is now southern Alberta.

Check out this collection of the greatest Canadian quotes of all time.

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Vintage sewing machinePhoto: Shutterstock

Name This Canadian Hero

On a snowy Friday night in 1964, this woman fired up her Singer sewing machine and sewed the first Canadian flag.

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Row of Canadian flagsPhoto: GagliardiPhotography/Shutterstock

Answer: Joan O’Malley

The new flag made its first official appearance on Feb. 15, 1965—now the National Flag of Canada Day.

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Pacific coast of CanadaPhoto: Shutterstock

Name This Canadian Hero

A woman who raised sheep dogs, wrote stories and found her inspiration for painting in the tall forests and Aboriginal villages of the Pacific Coast.

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Painting by Emily CarrPhoto: Wikimedia Commons

Answer: Emily Carr

Closely associated with the Group of Seven, Carr was one of the few major female painters in North America and Europe.

Next, discover the surprising things that were actually invented in Canada!

Originally Published in Our Canada