In 1928 in the northern Manitoba wilderness (specifically at mile 241 on the Hudson Bay Railway) Percy Laubmann was born. His father was of American/Canadian heritage while his mother was a treaty Indian from York Factory. Men were building a railway across the Nelson River, a railway that would eventually extend from The Pas to Churchill and be dubbed, ‘The Muskeg Express.’ Percy’s father was operating a cookery to feed the men working on the track.

“In 1935 we moved to Pikwitonei, a small settlement about 60 km. southeast of Thompson. There I went to school for 8 years.” Percy’s childhood coincided with the Depression years and his family, which included 11 children, often had a difficult time getting enough to eat. “I was the oldest so when 15, I had to quit school in order to help my father support our family. I finished school with only an elementary education.”

“I trapped for nine years then enlisted in the military and spent 14 months in Korea. I was wounded once in two areas of my body. In 1953 I returned to Canada and later was discharged from the Army. I worked in Churchill for several years. This was an important port at the time.”

Percy eventually moved back to Pikwitonei where he continued in father’s footsteps as an entrepreneur. After managing several business he decided to move to Thompson. Later he returned to ‘Pik’ and worked for the C.N. Railway for 15 years until he retired. Percy Laubmann has striven his entire life to succeed and is a well respected member of his community.

Back to Portrait Gallery

Percy J. Laubmann
Cree, Pikwitonei
Image size: 11 x 13 inches
Edition size: 375