Wetaskiwin Royal Canadian Legion members march in the colours during a special Remembrance Day ceremony honouring Aboriginal veterans and peacekeepers

Wetaskiwin Royal Canadian Legion members march in the colours during a special Remembrance Day ceremony honouring Aboriginal veterans and peacekeepers

Aboriginals veterans, peacekeeps recognized in special remembrance program

A special Remembrance Day program honouring peacekeepers and Aboriginal veterans was held at the Wetaskiwin Heritage Museum on Nov. 5.

A special Remembrance Day program honouring peacekeepers and Aboriginal veterans was held at the Wetaskiwin Heritage Museum on Nov. 5.

Karen Aberle, executive director and chief curator opened the ceremony with a small educational piece on Remembrance Day and why it is so important for Canada’s free citizens to wear a poppy and take time to remember Canada’s veterans.

Aberle says poppies as a symbol of remembrance mainly come from John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields. The poppies thrived in the desolate earth torn apart by war. “Their colours stood out against the barren terrain,” said Aberle.

She continued, the poppy pledges a person’s remembrance to the men and woman who sacrificed their lives to Canada and its future. “The poppy remains an enduring symbol for those who served or fell in service of their country.”

Aboriginal veterans

In honour of the aboriginal Canadian veterans who continually went to war for Canada, despite no mandatory conscription, Maskwacis community member Sarah Potts stood to speak to the importance of the Maskwacis Veterans Memorial Monument, which was unveiled last year.

“I believe it’s the first one in Alberta,” said Potts.

Even during the Second World War Canadian aboriginals were not able to vote and were not considered legal citizens of Canada yet they still risked their lives in war.

The idea of the cenotaph first came about in the 1980s when a group of chiefs began talking about native veterans. “They wanted to honour our members as well,” said Potts.

“It’s 2015, it’s time we move forward,” she added.

Murray Potts also took to the stand to talk about his father and two uncles who all served during Canadian conflicts.

Potts told the audience each year Maskwacis hold a veterans powwow in the community. “Every year I go there and carry my dad’s photo around.”

While Pott’s father was serving in Germany he was hit in the back and back of the leg by shrapnel from an exploding bomb. He survived and in 1953 was given an honourable discharge.

“My dad was willing to go to war,” said Potts. He added it was his family that was being specifically mentioned during the ceremony but there are many more from the community who also fought for Canada and each of them deserve remembrance as well.

Peacekeepers

Museum program co-ordinator Megan Patterson is the daughter of a peacekeeper and took to the podium to talk about her father. “I will do my best to emulate my father.”

As a UN peacekeeper posted in Lebanon in 1978, Patterson’s father routinely travelled roads outside of the neutral zone and despite being a symbol for peace and humanitarian relief was not always received with open arms. “There was often hostility coming from all directions.”

Despite the atmosphere, Patterson says her father bonded with members of many different countries, often over a game of volleyball.

“Most importantly my father gained a fundamental respect for cultural diversity,” said Patterson.

However, Patterson says peacekeepers are not always given the same respect as their war-veteran counterparts, which is a part of the reason they were included in this year’s Heritage Museum Remembrance Day theme.

Canadian Military

The Remembrance Day program also included a piece by Cpl. Joe Bremner, who spoke on behalf of the military and the importance of honouring Canadian veterans, past, present and future.

Bremner says Canadian soldiers enlist for a variety of reasons but most simply to serve their country. “We have chosen to wear a uniform and are willing to die for our country.”

“We are willing to put the service and security of Canada ahead of our own. We accept the risks willingly,” he added.

 

Just Posted

Alberta premier Jason Kenney announced the province's reopening plan late last month and moved into Stage 1 of that plan Tuesday. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Travel prizes added to Alberta’s vaccine lottery

More than 40 travel rewards available for those who are fully vaccinated

(Advocate file photo)
Red Deer down to 102 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 332 cases with 26 in hospital and five in ICU

Storm clouds gathered in Mulhurst, Alta., just before noon June 15, 2021. Photo/ Dan Moster.
Areas of County of Wetaskiwin remain under severe thunderstorm watch

Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for areas of the County.

Maskwacis Pride crosswalk (Left to right): Montana First Nation Councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Shannon Buffalo, Samson Cree Nation Chief Vern Saddleback.
Pride in Maskwacis

The 4th inaugural Maskwacis Pride crosswalk painting took place on Saturday June 12th, 2021

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall

114 cases in Red Deer, down one from Saturday

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

COVID-related trash is washing up on shorelines across the world, including Coldstream’s Kal Beach, as pictured in this May 2021 photograph. (Jennifer Smith - Black Press)
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

Three calves were recently shot dead in Lacombe County near Mirror. (Photo from Facebook)
Calves shot and left for dead in central Alberta

Bashaw RCMP investigating three shootings

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

Most Read