Aboriginal Veterans' Journey Ends in Europe
by
EB Lapointe

     
    The Aboriginal delegation, including members of the  Métis, First Nations, Inuit Spiritual Elders—veterans and youth alike—returned from visiting Canadian War Memorials in Europe and attended ceremonies in Ottawa on November 3rd, before returning to their homes located across Canada.
    They left Canada on October 26th, and while in Europe, they visited commemorative ceremonies in the Ypres area of Belgium and Normandy, and conducted a Calling Home Ceremony in which they invited the spirits of the fallen warriors to return home to Canada to rest with their ancestors.
    They visited the Juno Beach Centre, and there, have left an Inuksuk, its windows facing Canada and the nearby war cemetery. This will serve as a permanent marker of the journey.
    "It is so very appropriate that our last commemorative ceremony is being held at Vimy and that we make this visit during Canada's Year of the Veteran. On the Vimy Memorial can be found the names of at least 35 Aboriginal Veterans whose stories will never be known, except that they will never come home," said the Honourable Albina Guarnieri, Minister of Veterans Affairs.
    Additional information, including photos and blogs can be found at Veterans Affairs Canada website at <http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/general/sub.cfm?source=feature/abspirit>.

03 November, 2005



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