Growing debate around remembrance of Canada's aboriginal veterans

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Growing debate around remembrance of Canada's aboriginal veterans

Post by Trooper on Tue 08 Nov 2016, 06:52

Growing debate around remembrance of Canada's aboriginal veterans

Veterans march through the Downtown Eastside to a National Aboriginal Veterans Day ceremony at the Victory Square Cenotaph in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, November 8, 2016 4:58AM EST

OTTAWA -- Betty Ann Lavallee wasn't just continuing a family tradition when she enlisted in the army in 1980, though her father, two grandfathers and even a great-grandfather had served in uniform.
Lavallee, who would later lead the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, was also continuing the long tradition of aboriginal Canadians joining the military -- a tradition that now includes her son.
On Nov. 8, three days before Remembrance Day, Lavallee will be among thousands of indigenous people across Canada marking National Aboriginal Veterans Day.

While the day is not officially recognized by the federal government, Lavallee says it is nonetheless an important moment to remember the thousands of aboriginal people who fought and died for Canada.
"We sort of get lost in the shuffle because there's so few of us," she said. "This is just another way to celebrate our people and their accomplishments."
National Aboriginal Veterans Day has been growing in size and scope since it was inaugurated by Winnipeg's city council in 1994, with commemorations popping up in different parts of the country.

Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr will attend this year's event in downtown Ottawa on Tuesday, the first such appearance by a veterans affairs minister.
"We thank the thousands of indigenous Canadians in uniform who answered the call of duty and made the ultimate sacrifice," Hehr said in a statement.
"Their contributions and efforts have helped our country in its efforts to make this world a safer place."
Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett will participate in a similar ceremony in Fredericton, N.B.
Richard Blackwolf, president of the Canadian Aboriginal Veterans and Serving Members Association, says his group plans to ask the federal government to proclaim Nov. 8 as National Aboriginal Veterans Day.
Veterans Affairs Canada says more than 7,000 aboriginal people served in the First and Second World Wars, as well as Korea.
But that number does not include Inuit, Metis or non-status Indians, and some estimates put the actual total closer to 12,000.
More than 500 died in those conflicts, and many more were wounded.
Yet even as National Aboriginal Veterans Day grows, there is a burgeoning debate over what it should represent.

Lavallee says she will be thinking not only of those who fought and died in uniform, but also the many aboriginal veterans who fell through the cracks when they returned home from Europe and Korea.
Caught in bureaucratic red tape, they were shuffled between the Department of Veterans Affairs and what at the time was known as the Department of Indian Affairs.
In some cases, indigenous veterans were denied the services and support offered to non-aboriginals, including land and educational benefits. In others, they lost the benefits provided to those aboriginals living on reserves.
"So all the benefits you would normally get by coming back as a veteran, like free housing, they would say, 'No, you get it from your band.' And the band would say, 'No, they're no longer part of our band,"' Lavallee said. "So you fall through the cracks."
The federal government apologized in 2000 and offered compensation of $20,000 per veteran. Many were upset -- a national roundtable had recommended $120,000 as a fair sum -- but nonetheless took the money for fear they wouldn't survive another long court battle.
Blackwolf is among those who don't think Nov. 8 should be about dredging up such history, which he believes is steeped in politics.
He will instead be thinking about those who didn't come back, such as his father and uncle, who were both killed in the Second World War.
"It's no different than Nov. 11," he said. "It's a day of remembrance."

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/growing-debate-around-remembrance-of-canada-s-aboriginal-veterans-1.3150452

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Remembering Canada's Aboriginal veterans

Post by Trooper on Tue 08 Nov 2016, 11:54

Remembering Canada's Aboriginal veterans

Nov 08, 2016


Canadian Forces veteran and Aboriginal Betty Ann Lavallee holds a photo of her son Trevor, a presently serving member of the Canadian Forces, in her home in Geary, N.B., on Saturday, November 5, 2016.

OTTAWA — Betty Ann Lavallee wasn't just continuing a family tradition when she enlisted in the army in 1980, though her father, two grandfathers and even a great-grandfather had served in uniform.

Lavallee, who would later lead the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, was also continuing the long tradition of aboriginal Canadians joining the military — a tradition that now includes her son.

On Nov. 8, three days before Remembrance Day, Lavallee will be among thousands of indigenous people across Canada marking National Aboriginal Veterans Day.

While the day is not officially recognized by the federal government, Lavallee says it is nonetheless an important moment to remember the thousands of aboriginal people who fought and died for Canada.

"We sort of get lost in the shuffle because there's so few of us," she said. "This is just another way to celebrate our people and their accomplishments."

National Aboriginal Veterans Day has been growing in size and scope since it was inaugurated by Winnipeg's city council in 1994, with commemorations popping up in different parts of the country.

Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr will attend this year's event in downtown Ottawa on Tuesday, the first such appearance by a veterans affairs minister.

"We thank the thousands of indigenous Canadians in uniform who answered the call of duty and made the ultimate sacrifice," Hehr said in a statement.

"Their contributions and efforts have helped our country in its efforts to make this world a safer place."

Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett will participate in a similar ceremony in Fredericton, N.B.

Richard Blackwolf, president of the Canadian Aboriginal Veterans and Serving Members Association, says his group plans to ask the federal government to proclaim Nov. 8 as National Aboriginal Veterans Day.

Veterans Affairs Canada says more than 7,000 aboriginal people served in the First and Second World Wars, as well as Korea.

But that number does not include Inuit, Metis or non-status Indians, and some estimates put the actual total closer to 12,000.

More than 500 died in those conflicts, and many more were wounded.

Yet even as National Aboriginal Veterans Day grows, there is a burgeoning debate over what it should represent.

Lavallee says she will be thinking not only of those who fought and died in uniform, but also the many aboriginal veterans who fell through the cracks when they returned home from Europe and Korea.

Caught in bureaucratic red tape, they were shuffled between the Department of Veterans Affairs and what at the time was known as the Department of Indian Affairs.

In some cases, indigenous veterans were denied the services and support offered to non-aboriginals, including land and educational benefits. In others, they lost the benefits provided to those aboriginals living on reserves.

"So all the benefits you would normally get by coming back as a veteran, like free housing, they would say, 'No, you get it from your band.' And the band would say, 'No, they're no longer part of our band,'" Lavallee said. "So you fall through the cracks."

The federal government apologized in 2000 and offered compensation of $20,000 per veteran. Many were upset — a national roundtable had recommended $120,000 as a fair sum — but nonetheless took the money for fear they wouldn't survive another long court battle.

Blackwolf is among those who don't think Nov. 8 should be about dredging up such history, which he believes is steeped in politics.

He will instead be thinking about those who didn't come back, such as his father and uncle, who were both killed in the Second World War.

"It's no different than Nov. 11," he said. "It's a day of remembrance."

— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter

By Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

http://www.durhamregion.com/news-story/6952979-remembering-canada-s-aboriginal-veterans/
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Indigenous veterans remembered for contributions to Canada’s military

Post by Trooper on Tue 08 Nov 2016, 18:09

Indigenous veterans remembered for contributions to Canada’s military

National Aboriginal Veterans Day, held Nov. 8, has been growing in size and scope since it was first inaugurated by Winnipeg’s city council in 1994, though it is still not officially recognized by the federal government.


Korean War veteran Claude Petit from Saskatoon embraces Larry Belanger from Edmonston, N.B., following a wreath laying ceremony at the National Aboriginal Veterans monument in Ottawa in this 2007 file photo.

By The Canadian Press
Tues., Nov. 8, 2016

OTTAWA—Indigenous people across Canada are remembering fallen ancestors and community members with prayers and offerings of thanks today, as they mark National Aboriginal Veterans Day.

It is estimated that more than 12,000 aboriginal people joined the Canadian military during the First and Second World Wars and Korea. More than 500 were killed.

Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr says more First Nations, Inuit and Métis served in those wars as a percentage of their total population than any other ethnic group in Canada.

Hehr, who laid a wreath during a ceremony at the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument in Ottawa, says aboriginal Canadians deserve a special thanks for their contributions to Canada’s defence.

National Aboriginal Veterans Day has been growing in size and scope since it was first inaugurated by Winnipeg’s city council in 1994, though it is still not officially recognized by the federal government.

There is a burgeoning debate about what the day should represent.

Some say it should recognize that many indigenous veterans were denied the services offered to non-aboriginals when they returned from Europe and Korea.

But others want it to remain focused on those who died.

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/11/08/indigenous-veterans-remembered-for-contributions-to-canadas-military.html
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Re: Growing debate around remembrance of Canada's aboriginal veterans

Post by 1993firebird on Tue 08 Nov 2016, 20:42

A Veteran is a Veteran is a Veteran and there language was hard to figure out for the Germans.

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Canadian Rangers Hold Ceremony on Aboriginal Veterans Day

Post by Trooper on Wed 09 Nov 2016, 17:06

Canadian Rangers Hold Ceremony on Aboriginal Veterans Day

Posted 9 November 2016 by Sgt. Peter Moon in Anishinaabe


Canadian Rangers salute during a sunset ceremony on National Aboriginal Veterans Day

OWEN SOUND – Canadian Rangers on a week-long military training course took time out of their busy program to hold a sunset ceremony to observe National Aboriginal Veterans Day on November 8.
The ceremony was held by 48 Rangers from 18 First Nations from across Northern Ontario who were training in search and rescue techniques at the 4th Canadian Division Training Centre at Meaford, near Owen Sound.

They gathered with Canadian Armed Forces instructional staff and other military personnel in a large circle around a ceremonial fire, with many of them of the Rangers carrying the flags of their home communities.

The Rangers offered tobacco, said prayers, and laid a commemorative wreath. At the end of the ceremony they placed their red Poppies on logs around the fire.

“It honoured our veterans,” said Master Corporal Albert Sutherland of Constance Lake who laid the wreath on behalf of the Rangers. “I was proud to be part of it and I bet everyone felt the same as me.”

“It was a moving ceremony,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Matthew Richardson, the commanding officer of 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, which commands the 630 Rangers in 23 First Nations across Northern Ontario. “The Aboriginal contributions to the Canadian Armed Forces have been very significant.”


Master Corporal Albert Sutherland of Constance Lake lays his Poppy at the side of the ceremonial

(Sergeant Peter Moon is the public affairs ranger for the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group at Canadian Forces Base Borden.)

http://www.netnewsledger.com/2016/11/09/canadian-rangers-hold-ceremony-aboriginal-veterans-day/
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