FIRST NATIONS MARK 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF VIMY RIDGE
On Sunday, April 9 I was honoured to join First Nations veterans, the Prime Minister, the Governor General,Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry and more than 30,000 Canadian students, veterans and family to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in France.
The Sons of Membertou drum group helped to open the ceremonies, along with hoop dancers Marika Cockney and James Jones. Knowledge Keeper Ed Neveau and his wife Madelain Hardisty-Neveau also travelled to Vimy to lead our delegation with a pipe ceremony and a sunset ceremony on the site before the Vimy commemoration.
First Nations veterans have served in all major world conflicts, including World War I and World War II, where thousands enlisted in Canada’s armed forces despite being exempted from conscription.
While in France, our veterans’ delegation attended the opening of the Canadian War Museum exhibit Witness– Fields of Battle Through Canadian Eyes in the city of Arras, and visited the Ring of Remembrance, as well as Canadian, German and British cemeteries and the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial site.