Recognizing Métis Veteran Wallace McLeod
Métis Veteran Wallace McLeod was posthumously recognized for his contributions and sacrifices during World War II in a special ceremony on Thursday in Oakville, ON.
McLeod, who served while serving in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Battle of the Atlantic, passed away in 2011 at the age of 88.
Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Margaret Froh, MNO Veterans Council President Brian Prairie, Oakville Mayor Rob Burton, and MNO Director of Self-Government Strategy Brian Black were among the guests and speakers who attended the ceremony.
McLeod’s widow, Sara McLeod, received a $20,000 Recognition Payment from the Métis Veterans Legacy Program, a national program established in 2019 to compensate Métis Veterans who enlisted and served during World War II.
“Upon return from World War II, our Métis Veterans did not receive the same support resources or benefits that were originally promised to them, which were routinely given to non-Métis veterans” said Métis National Council (MNC) President Cassidy Caron in a video message shared with the family during the ceremony. “The sacrifices and contributions Second World War Métis veterans made to ensure peace and prosperity for all, remain largely unknown throughout Canada. But we now have some ability to right that wrong”.
President Margaret Froh remarked “After years of advocating on behalf of Métis Veterans we were successful in pushing Canada to do the right thing and acknowledge Métis Veterans in a way they never did. We are thankful to have you here Sara to share this acknowledgment and an apology from the Government of Canada. Today is really about Wallace and celebrating you, and your family.”
McLeod’s son Greg and daughter Julie were present to contribute stories about their dad and his life. Pictures and memorabilia adorned a tribute to Wallace, which included letters he wrote Sara while serving, and his service medals.
Sara McLeod was presented with a Statement from Veterans Affairs Canada, a Métis Veterans sash, and a beaded poppy pin. She remarked, “I appreciate all of this and I am sure my husband would too if he was here.”