Aboriginal veterans remembered

Canadians celebrated National Aboriginal Veterans Day Nov. 8 with a flag raising and wreath laying in the High Prairie Civic Square. The High Prairie Native Friendship Centre organized the celebration, which they plan to make an annual event. After drummers performed an honour song, Friendship Centre executive director Carol Hanlon provided some opening remarks. A highlight of her address was the reading of the names of known Aboriginal veterans in the region. In all, she has compiled a list of 85 names with more surely to come. Sucker Creek First Nation Councillor Matthew Willier spoke of the importance of Aboriginal peoples’ contributions to the war efforts, many which were unnoticed until recently. He spoke specifically of Cree Code Talker Charles “Checker” Tomkins, a well-known local resident. Two minutes silence was observed and the wreath laid. The crowd then walked to the Friendship Centre for refreshments.

Sucker Creek First Nation Councillor Matthew Willier, centre left, spoke of the important contributions of Aboriginal people. Left-right are Bev L’Hirondelle, holding the wreath, Willier, High Prairie Air Cadet LAC Kali Chalifoux, and AC Faith Bruneau.
High Prairie Air Cadet LAC Kali Chalifoux lays a wreath in the High Prairie Civic Square.

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