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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 November, 2003, 18:33 GMT
Builder is tribal chief
Michael Henry
Mick Henry hopes to return to Canada next year (Photo: The Star)
A builder from Barnsley has discovered he is the chief of a native North American tribe.

Mick Henry's father was a Canadian serviceman who met his mother in Britain during the second world war but returned home when the marriage broke up.

Members of the family who belong to the Ojibway tribe tracked down Mr Henry through the internet and flew him to Canada where they told him he is now the tribal chief.

Mr Henry, 59, from Newland Avenue, Cudworth, is coming to terms with his new status as leader of the tribe's Golden Eagle clan.

You could have knocked me down with a feather - an Indian feather
Mick Henry

Mr Henry cannot remember his father Albert who died on the tribe's reservation in Manitoba in 1998.

But he now has a host of relatives he did not know existed, including five half-brothers and four half-sisters.

The tribal family paid for his trip to Canada and he was met at the airport by about 70 relatives carrying banners and cameras.

A special pow-wow was arranged to celebrate his return.

Did he ever guess that he had Native Canadian blood? "No, but the relatives say they can see it in my face," he told BBC Radio Sheffield.

Asked whether he would think of emigrating to Canada to be a full-time chief, Mr Henry said: "It's too late in life, the wife is not keen and my roots are here."

He confessed it had all been a bit of shock.

"You could have knocked me down with a feather - an Indian feather."


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