National Aboriginal Veterans Day ceremony
SUDBURY – A ceremony took place on November 8 in the Atikameksheng First Nation in the Sudbury area.
Members of the community, including elementary school students, gathered to make a commitment to remember.
The students at the ceremony sang O Canada in Ojibway to mark nation Aboriginal Veterans Day.
"Just so that people understand and recognize, yes it is a different language but we are still united as one. And the significance of it is moving forward, the message is that we are a whole group together, a whole nation together working for one good cause, and that is peace in the world," said Dave Soehner, St. James Catholic School Principal.
Atikameksheng Band Councillor Rubina Nebenionquit says "it teaches young people that we really have to respect what we have today because it's been safe guarded by our people."
Aiden MacNeil lives on the Atikameksheng First Nation. His late great grandfather Daisia Nebenionquit was an Aboriginal World War II veteran who was honoured with five medals for his service in France, Germany, Holland and Belgium.
"The most important thing I want to say about my great grandpa is thank you for fighting in the war for our country, you are a great role model and inspirer," said MacNeil.
William Morin, a veteran from the Michipicton Nation new Wawa says "the role that Indigenous veterans played in the Canadian Armed Forces was a reminder to Canada of that nation to nation relationships that are still in play called treaties."
Throughout the ceremony were prayed, poems, stories and two minutes of silence to honour Aboriginal vets.
Organizers of the ceremony say they hope the students honour the dedication and sacrifice of all veterans and also make a vow to stand for peace.