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Wapanohk ceremony commemorates National Aboriginal Veterans Day – Thompson Citizen

by ahnationtalk on November 11, 2015730 Views

November 11, 2015

Wapanohk Community School hosted a ceremony to commemorate National Aboriginal Veterans Day on Nov. 6, honouring the role which aboriginal soldiers have played in Canada’s military history.

Ron Cook, master of ceremonies, introduced the ceremony, and those present to represent the community. “We are assembled here today to honour the veterans, the okihcihtâw, the great hearts, who gave up themselves for our people, the men and the women who gave their present for our future.” The ceremony featured Cree and English renditions of “In Flanders Fields” by Ms. Alcock’s, Mrs. Dumas’s, and Ms. Moose’s class, as well as a Cree singing of “Amazing Grace” sung by Mr. White’s Grade 6 class.

The highlight of the ceremony was a video presentation prepared by Wapanohk students, recognizing the contribution of aboriginal soldiers in the conflicts over the past two centuries. The video recognized the role of First Nations not only in the world wars, but in conflicts often forgotten in Canadian memory, such as the 19th century Mahdist and Boer Wars. “The thousands of miles travelled by aboriginal soldiers make up a thousand memories, so many of which have been ignored or lost. Yet these are the details of our history, which we must remember.” The presentation was followed by a list of Northern Manitoban aboriginal veterans, accompanied by the anonymous poem “The Drum Beat.”

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