South Peace News
After 75 years, Canada’s Métis have to wait no longer.
The Métis National Council [MNC] announced June 29 the launch of the Métis Veterans Legacy Program.
The program is an integral part of the $30 million agreement signed by Canada and the Métis Nation on June 13, 2019 to honour Métis veterans of the Second World War including the payment of compensation.
The agreement was accompanied by an apology from Canada for the wrongs Métis Second World War veterans experienced upon their return to Canada.
“Our Nation has waited 75 years for this,” says MNC Veterans Minister David Chartrand, who led efforts over two decades to seek justice for the Métis veterans who served in the Second World War.
“Those we have lost during our struggle for recognition can finally rest in peace, knowing they have been recognized and honoured for their contributions and sacrifice. Our Nation rejoices as we celebrate the surviving [Second World War] veterans and honour them as they receive their recognition payment.”
The legacy program has two objectives:
- To recognize, through individual recognition payments, Second World War Métis Veteran’s pre- and post-war experiences that may have negatively impacted their demobilization success; and
- To support commemorative initiatives through the Commemoration Program that promotes awareness and appreciation of Métis veterans’ sacrifices and contributions.
Because very few of the Second World War Métis veterans are still living, Chartrand has initiated Phase I of a campaign throughout the Métis homeland to identify living Métis veterans.
During the past year, 23 Second World War Métis veterans have been presented with their $20,000 recognition payment. They also received thanks from the Métis Nation, an apology from the Government of Canada, a ceremonial Métis Sash and a hand-beaded traditional Métis broach.
Chartrand also announced recognition payments are being presented to all surviving spouses and common-law partners regardless of when their loved one passed away.
The policy remains the same if the spouse or common-law partner has also passed away, that all living children of a Métis Veteran who has passed after January 2016 are eligible to receive equal portions of the $20,000 payment.