SCO To Host Inaugural First Nations Veterans Gathering
November 17, 2023
ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — Today, the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is unveiling details for its’ first ever First Nations Veterans Gathering. The free event will take place on November 27 at the Hilton Winnipeg Airport Suites hotel.
“The Chiefs of southern First Nations are committed to providing services that support and honour our Veterans and their loved ones,” stated SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “I am confident this special gathering will reaffirm that commitment, as we develop new programs and services to support First Nation Veterans and their families.”
The gathering is part of a comprehensive effort by SCO to properly honour and acknowledge our Veterans. Recently, SCO announced the hiring of our inaugural Veterans Coordinator Justin Woodcock. A Veteran himself, Justin is working to provide programming and events, such as this month’s gathering for First Nations Veterans. After earning a Bachelor of Social Work degree, he aims to support First Nations Veterans across southern Manitoba and give back to the community that gave so much to him.
“Despite their bravery, service, and sacrifice, Canada did not treat First Nation soldiers the same as other Veterans after they returned to civilian life,” added Chief Gordon Bluesky of the Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation. “A glaring example is Canada’s most-decorated Indigenous Veteran and Brokenhead citizen Sargeant Tommy Prince. To this day, his family is still fighting for proper recognition and compensation for his service.”
As part of this important gathering, SCO is pleased to announce that the keynote address will be given by First Nation Veteran Jamie Wilson. The Vice President, Indigenous Strategy, Research and Business Development at Red River College Polytech, Mr. Wilson spent nine years serving in both the US and Canadian Armed Forces.
“This week, we heard of the loss of a brave young warrior from Opaskwayak Cree Nation. We mourn the passing of 25-year-old Austin Lathlin-Bercier. His death in Ukraine reminds us of how important it is to recognize and honour the service of First Nations Veterans of all ages, all while providing the assistance Veterans need to thrive in their communities,” concluded Grand Chief Daniels. “I look forward to meeting Veterans on November 27 and hearing about the unique challenges and contributions our Veterans have experienced throughout their military careers and beyond.”
Space is limited for the First Nations Veterans Gathering. Register online here.
To learn more, visit our event page.
Members of the media are welcome to attend.
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 85,500 citizens in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.
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