Connect with us
[bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]

National

Only equal on the battlefield: Efforts underway to honour Indigenous veterans

Published

on

If you like this, share it!




  • Francis Pegahmagabow went to a recruitment office almost immediately after war was declared in 1914.

    The Ojibwa sniper from Wasauksing First Nation of Parry Island would serve with the 1st Infantry Battalion and went on to become one of the most decorated soldiers in the First World War.

    When he returned to Canada, his reputation as a brave soldier counted for very little and he didn’t receive the same rights or benefits as his white comrades.

    “They’d gone from being a soldier to just an Indian again,” said Scott Sheffield, associate professor at the University of Fraser Valley and author of a report on First Nations veterans that prompted a federal government apology in 2003.

    Indigenous people were part of every 20th-century conflict Canada was involved in and served in the Canadian military at a higher per-capita rate than any other group.

    About 4,000 First Nations men served in the First World War. After the armistice of Nov. 11, 1918, they returned to Canada still unable to vote and largely shut out of the meagre benefits on offer.

    Although veterans were eligible to borrow money through the government for farm land, it was almost impossible for First Nations veterans to qualify.

    “Worse than that, around 80,000 acres of reserve land that was good for farming was actually taken away from reserves, mostly in the Prairies, and largely given to white settler veterans,” Sheffield said.

    That didn’t stop Indigenous people from taking up the call again when Canada joined the Second World War — about 4,300 enlisted.

    Thomas (Tommy) Prince, a member of the Brokenhead Ojibwa Nation in Manitoba, enlisted in 1940 and eventually was assigned to the Canadian-American First Special Service Force, known as the Devil’s Brigade. He became a legendary sniper, was awarded multiple medals and also served in the Korean War.

    Back in Canada, Prince ended up living in shelters and on the streets of Winnipeg until his death in 1977.

    After the Second World War, Indigenous veterans couldn’t get information from trained veterans affairs counsellors, and had to go through their Indian agent. It was difficult for them to connect with non-Indigenous comrades because they weren’t allowed in legion halls.

    They were also unable to get a loan-grant combination that helped veterans set up careers and businesses.

    But Indigenous men and women continued to enlist and serve in the military — from NATO duties during the Cold War to more recent tours in Afghanistan.

    Now an effort is underway to honour their sacrifice.

    Randi Gage, a Saginaw Chippewa from Michigan and a United States army veteran, organized the first Aboriginal Veterans Day in Manitoba in 1993. She wanted a day to honour them in their own communities but still allowed them to gather for Remembrance Day ceremonies.

    Nov. 8 was chosen because the number turned sideways is the Metis infinity symbol and it’s connected to some First Nations teachings, Gage said. She wrote letters to communities and veterans organizations to spread the word about the event.

    “Most of the letters came back the most racist, disgusting: ‘What the hell do you think you are doing?’, ‘What makes you so special?'” she said.

    But the event went ahead with a handful of veterans.

    The next year, National Aboriginal Veterans Day was inaugurated by Winnipeg’s city council. Gage said thousands of people attended to honour Indigenous veterans.

    “To see the pride in those guys, it still gets me today,” she said, starting to cry. “It started the discussion. It started people talking.”

    The 25th Aboriginal Veterans Day is being celebrated Thursday but Gage said there is still more work to do.

    The federal Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs has launched a study of benefits for Indigenous veterans.

    Veterans Affairs said in an emailed statement it is committed meeting the needs of Indigenous veterans and is talking to Aboriginal groups to determine the way forward.

    Meanwhile, the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa is holding a photographic exhibition, presented by the Embassy of Belgium, to celebrate the diversity of those who fought for the Allied effort. It includes images of Maori soldiers from New Zealand, Sikhs from the Indian Army Corps, and a photo of Indigenous recruits and elders from File Hills, Sask.

    A photo of Inuk sniper John Shiwak, who died on the battlefield in 1917, also hangs on the wall.

    Peter MacLeod, the museum’s director of research, said he hopes it changes the perspective of people who fought in the First World War.

    “There is a huge story there about the diversity of the Canadian corps and the war effort in general,” he said. “This exhibition … makes Canadians a bit more aware of the diversity in our country’s history and the contribution that all groups have made to Canada.”

    Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press


    If you like this, share it!

    National

    Google wants court to decide whether search curbs would infringe charter rights

    Published

    on

    If you like this, share it!




  • OTTAWA — Google wants the Federal Court to decide whether limiting search-engine results in the name of privacy would infringe Canadians’ constitutional guarantee of free expression.

    The leading internet search engine advocates broadening an upcoming court hearing to squarely address the question.

    Privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien has asked the Federal Court to clarify if Google’s popular search tool is covered by the law governing how companies handle personal information.

    A man who says a Google search reveals outdated and highly personal information about him will be the test case that helps a judge decide whether the search engine must remove the links from its results.

    Therrien argues the federal law on private-sector use of personal information includes such a right to de-indexing.

    In documents filed with the court, Google says the privacy commissioner’s reference application is illogical and inefficient because it is too narrow and therefore won’t fully explore the relevant constitutional questions.

    The Canadian Press


    If you like this, share it!
    Continue Reading

    National

    Former New Democrat MP Svend Robinson wants to return to politics

    Published

    on

    If you like this, share it!




  • BURNABY, B.C. — Former New Democrat MP Svend Robinson is attempting a political comeback, nearly 15 years after his theft of an expensive diamond ring brought an end to his decades-long career.

    Robinson is expected to be acclaimed as the NDP candidate in the riding of Burnaby North-Seymour at a nomination meeting later this week after serving seven terms in various ridings in the Metro Vancouver city from 1979 to 2004.

    Robinson made the announcement today outside his childhood home in the riding.

    He says he’s been knocking on doors in the community and even though it’s been 15 years since he left federal politics, people have welcomed him back.

    NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is running in a byelection in the neighbouring riding of Burnaby South and Robinson recently appeared with him at a campaign event.

    Robinson pleaded guilty to theft over $5,000 in 2004 after stealing an engagement ring valued at $64,000 from an auction, but he said he suffered from a mental health disorder and received a conditional discharge.

    Since leaving politics, the 66-year-old has spent time in Switzerland working with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

    The Canadian Press


    If you like this, share it!
    Continue Reading

    january, 2019

    mon14jan - 31jan 1410:00 amjan 31Kindergarten Registration Begins at Red Deer Public SchoolsRegister your child for Kindergarten10:00 am - 3:00 pm (31)

    wed16jan12:30 pm- 1:00 pmBusiness Professionals Video Lecture LunchThis course explains high-level business concepts in simple ways. 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm

    wed16jan7:00 pm- 9:00 pmPerfectionism or Healthy Striving? An Emotional Intelligence WorkshopAre you curious? 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

    thu17jan - 26jan 177:30 pmjan 26Ignition Theatre Presents: GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIESPulitzer prize finalist Rajiv Joseph’s Gruesome Playground Injuries7:30 pm - 11:00 pm (26)

    sat19jan10:00 am- 5:00 pm2019 Healthy Living ExpoHelping Albertans live healthy, sustainable lives10:00 am - 5:00 pm

    sat19jan11:00 am- 2:00 pmCentral Alberta Refugee Effort and Catholic Social Services Annual Client and Volunteer Partyshare culture through food and music11:00 am - 2:00 pm

    sat19jan1:00 pm- 4:00 pmMAGSaturday @ the MuseumMAGnificent Saturdays welcomes all ages and abilities to participate in a fun art project every week! 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    wed23jan12:30 pm- 1:00 pmBusiness Professionals Video Lecture LunchThis course explains high-level business concepts in simple ways. 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm

    sat26jan9:00 am- 5:00 pmChildhood Anxiety: Understanding & Helping Children Heal Workshop9:00 am - 5:00 pm

    sat26jan1:00 pm- 4:00 pmMAGSaturday @ the MuseumMAGnificent Saturdays welcomes all ages and abilities to participate in a fun art project every week! 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    sat26jan8:00 pm- 10:30 pmRobbie Burns Night8:00 pm - 10:30 pm

    mon28jan11:30 am- 1:30 pmLending Cupboard Presents Jann Arden in 1st annual Winter LuncheonJann Arden \"Winter Luncheon\"11:30 am - 1:30 pm

    tue29jan5:00 pm- 7:00 pmRed Deer and District Chamber of Commerce presents: January Business After Hoursnetworking event 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

    tue29jan7:00 pm- 11:30 pmLive Country Music @ Bo's Bar and GrillAaron Pritchett w/ Guest Kira Isabella and David James7:00 pm - 11:30 pm

    tue29jan7:00 pm- 12:00 amPaul BrandtThe Journey Tour 20197:00 pm - 12:00 am

    wed30jan12:30 pm- 1:00 pmBusiness Professionals Video Lecture LunchThis course explains high-level business concepts in simple ways. 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm

    Trending

    X