Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

November 11, 2009 12:09 ET

Government of Canada Salutes Metis Veterans at a Special Remembrance Day Ceremony on the Beaches of Normandy

COURSEULLES-SUR-MER, FRANCE--(Marketwire - Nov. 11, 2009) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians attended a Remembrance Day ceremony today at Juno Beach. Minister Strahl helped to unveil a Red River Cart that was traditionally used to carry Metis settlers across the Canadian prairies. The Red River Cart is an historic symbol that will stand as a permanent reminder of the dedication, strength and determination of Metis veterans. The Minister joined Metis National Council President Clement Chartier in saluting Metis veterans.

"Our government is proud to acknowledge the valuable contributions and sacrifices made by Metis veterans, to which the Red River Cart at the Juno Centre is a lasting tribute," said Minister Strahl. "We are grateful to all Aboriginal veterans for their sacrifices of the past, present and the future. This is a humbling moment for all of us who owe so much to those who made our freedom possible."

During the second World War, when Metis joined the military offensive in Europe, many walked or rode hundreds of kilometres from their remote communities to enlist. The Canadian military welcomed the thousands of Aboriginal people who enlisted because their skills as hunters and trappers proved to be valuable assets in the field.

"I am very proud to see this memorial unveiled for the thousands of Metis Nation citizens who fought, who were wounded and who died during the World Wars," said Clement Chartier, President of the Metis National Council. "I hope it will help convey our eternal gratitude for the service and sacrifices these men and women made defending their people, their country and world freedom."

The history of military service by Aboriginal peoples has been long and many Aboriginal Canadians continue to serve as members of the Canadian forces, both at home and abroad.

This release is also available on the Internet at www.inac.gc.ca

For an event photo go to http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ai/mr/pg/images/minjunohires.jpg

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    Michelle Yao
    Press Secretary
    819-997-0002
    or
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    Media Relations
    819-953-1160