Foresters traces its Canadian roots to the founding of The Independent Order of Foresters in 1874. Inspired by a prominent physician and leader — Dr. Oronhyatekha, a Mohawk who was the country’s first native doctor to practice western medicine — the organization flourished.
Dr. Oronhyatekha held the office of Supreme Chief Ranger (now called International Fraternal President) from 1881 until his death in 1907. Traveling extensively, he quickly spread the message of fraternalism. By the early 1890s, he had successfully transformed Foresters into North America's leading fraternal benefit society.
Dr. Oronhyatekha dramatically altered the life insurance landscape. He extended insurance benefits to the average working family. He insisted on admitting women as full members. He provided benefits to the orphans of Foresters members — benefits still available today.
His remarkable legacy and commitment to the well-being of children, families and communities lives on. Thanks to Dr. Oronhyatekha’s vision, Foresters is now a thriving international organization.