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Dr. John L. Steckley is a Canadian scholar specializing in Native American studies and the indigenous languages of the Americas. Steckley has a Ph.D. in education from the University of Toronto. He taught at Humber College in Toronto, Ontario, from 1983 until his retirement in June 2015.

Steckley is reportedly the last known speaker of the Wyandot (or Huron) language, which he has studied for over thirty years.[1] He is also interested in place names as derived from indigenous languages, and aims to correct common misconceptions regarding their original derivations.[2]

Steckley has become a deeply respected figure amongst the Wyandot. On his adoption into the Wyandot tribe in 1999, he was named Tehaondechoren ("he who splits the country in two").[3] He was also given the name "Hechon" by descendants of the Huron in Loretteville, Quebec City, while teaching them their own historical language.[3] This was a name that had previously been given to Jean de Brébeuf (1593–1649), one of the North American Martyrs, by his Huron and Wyandot followers.[3][4]

His 2007 Huron-English Dictionary was the first book of its type for over 250 years to be published.[1][5]

In 2007, Laval University received a federal grant of $1 million for development of its Huron-language teaching materials in collaboration with Steckley.[1]

Steckley has written widely on a variety of sociological and anthropological topics, including a recent book on gibbons.[6]


  • Full Circle: Canada's First Nations (2001)
  • Aboriginal Voices and the Politics of Representation in Canadian Introductory Sociology Textbooks (2003)
  • A Huron-English / English-Huron Dictionary, Listing Both Nouns and Verb Roots (2007)
  • Elements of Sociology: A Critical Canadian Introduction (with Guy Letts) (2008)
  • Beyond Their Years: Five Native Women's Stories (2011)
  • Learning from the Past: Five Cases of Aboriginal Justice (2013)
  • Foundations of Sociology (2014)
  • The Eighteenth-Century Wyandot: A Clan-Based Study (2014)
  • Gibbons: The Invisible Apes (2015)


  1. ^ a b c J. Goddard, Scholar sole speaker of Huron language, Toronto Star, Dec 24, 2007.
  2. ^ How Toronto Got Its Names Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Sightlines, August 2004 Volume XLIV, Number 7 (United States Institute for Theatre Technology, August 2004)
  3. ^ a b c Reist, Michael, Member of the tribe: Meet Boltonite John Steckley, author and honorary member of the Huron Tribe Archived 15 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine, The Caledon Enterprise & Erin Advocate, 28 January 2008
  4. ^   Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Huron Indians" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  5. ^ Steckley, John, A Huron-English / English-Huron Dictionary, Listing Both Nouns and Verb Roots (Mellen, 2007) ISBN 0-7734-5258-3
  6. ^ Steckley, John (9 June 2015). Gibbons: The Invisible Apes. Rock's Mills Press. ISBN 9781772440072.

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