Due to recent Covid-19 Pandemic measures and the restrictions on large gatherings, NCN Chief and Council have announced that the ceremonies to recognize Aboriginal Veterans Day and Remembrance Day have been postponed in Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation. Our community ceremonies and service will not take place on November 11, 2020.
We do encourage our Citizens to take a moment of silence and remember the freedoms and gifts that others have sacrificed in service or with their lives during the great wars. The last post will be aired at 11:00 AM on Achimowin radio on Remembrance Day and you are invited to tune in. You can also share the memories or stories of veterans with youth and others on social media or in your own moment of prayer or acknowledgement.
Despite the hardships that many Indigenous people faced from the Canadian government, many defied the odds to prove time and again their pride serving Canada and representing their Nations in times of war. During WWII, hundreds of Aboriginal people voluntarily enlisted, and more than 500 status Indian individuals lost their lives on the battlefields.
These exemplary First Nation’s warriors fought side-by-side with other soldiers, and shared in the equality and camaraderie that tragedy and victory provided. Many were especially proud to play a part in freeing captive people, and after the war, brought home a renewed desire for the same self-sovereignty that they had just fought to achieve for others.
These heroes also inspired Indigenous people who remained in Canada during the war. Nearer to home, many made sacrifices and significant contributions – First Nations were especially generous in donating money to the war effort, raised funds through auctions, raffles and special events, and gave clothing and other items to be sent overseas to soldiers. These great efforts, at war and at home, reminded all Indigenous Canadians of our traditions of sacrifice, loyalty and freedom.
Although we can not be together this year to honour our veterans, Lest we forget… Keep their memories alive by sharing their important contributions and be mindful of those service women and men that continue to keep us safe.
Chief Marcel Moody,
Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation