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Old 11-01-2005, 10:21 PM   #1
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Canada's Aboriginal Veterans Honoured in France

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FROM: THE MONTREAL GAZETTE NEWSPAPER

_http://www.canada.com/montreal/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=ef73202b-e1
b5-40d8-b3a0-24350e557ba2_
(http://www.canada.com/montreal/montr...0-24350e557ba2)

Canada's Aboriginal Veterans Honoured in France

Wartime contribution finally recognized
CP

October 31, 2005

CREDIT: ANDREW VAUGHAN, CP Ceremonial dancer Lorne Duquette was a
performer during a ceremony yesterday in Courseulles-sur-Mer, France, that
honoured veteran George Horse of the Thunder Child First Nation in
Saskatchewan.



(http://www.canada.com/montreal/montr...0-24350e557ba2) Andrew Vaughan, The Canadian Press

JEAN DOES A TURN AT JUNO BEACH
Governor-General Michaelle Jean dances yesterday with Lorne Duquette, a
ceremonial dancer of the Mistawasis First Nation of Saskatchewan, as she visits
the Juno Beach Centre in Courseulles-sur-Mer, France. The vice-regent was
saying goodbye to veterans on a pilgrimage to honour aboriginal contributions to
the First and Second World Wars.
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Pte. Leo Goulet has a hard time harkening back to June 6, 1944, when he and
the rest of his fellow Winnipeg Rifles left the relative safety of their
landing barge and stormed Juno Beach on D-Day.
"So many things happened to me when we landed 61 years ago," Goulet said as
he stood on the same shores and took in the now-calm scene of gently lapping
waves and sand strewn with nothing but seaweed.
"There were dead soldiers here and there, some floating, some dry. It's all
like a big dream - or nightmare I should say."
Yesterday, Goulet, 81, found himself reliving that day again and again - for
youths, the media, cultural performers and fellow veterans - during this stop
on a pilgrimage to honour the aboriginal contribution to the First and
Second World Wars.
Goulet, a Metis who lives with his aboriginal wife on the Atikameg First
Nation in northern Alberta, was one of two veterans on the trip who were part of
the first wave of Canadian D-Day troops to land at Normandy's Juno Beach.
George Horse, of the Thunder Child First Nation in northwestern Saskatchewan,
hit the shore even before Goulet as part of the Royal Canadian Engineers,
who were tasked with clearing German anti-mine obstacles missed by air attacks.
"It was tough," Horse, 86, said. "We were wide open, the Jerries were up on
the hill firing at us, but we just kept going ahead."
Two events held yesterday reflected the emotion of the tour, called an
aboriginal spiritual journey, in vastly different ways.
At a remembrance service at nearby Beny-Sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, a
Metis fiddle lament, an Inuit throat song and a First Nations honour dance added
unique touches to the traditional wreath laying and playing of the Last
Post.
Governor-General Michaelle Jean, Veterans Affairs Minister Albina Guarnieri
and officials from various levels of French government all paid tribute to the
aboriginal contribution to the war effort - attention several veterans say
has been too long coming.
"I'm grateful to be recognized," said Horse, who recently lost a
great-grandson who fought as a U.S. marine in Iraq.
Veterans Affairs estimates about 4,000 aboriginals enlisted during the Second
World War. At least 33 of them rest among the 2,048 Canadians buried in the
cemetery here.
After the service, several veterans searched for familiar names among the
rows of identical headstones.
Horse, wearing a large feather headdress with his standard veteran's jacket
and medals, touched an eagle staff to a grave marker.
Howard Anderson was clearly delighted to find the grave of his nephew, K.W.
Pratt, who was killed on D-Day.
"It's the best thing that's happened in a long time," said Anderson, from the
Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan.
Later in the day, lively performances by Metis, Inuit and First Nations
entertainers brought most of the cheering veterans to their feet during a
ceremony to unveil an Inukshuk.
Inuit elder Peter Irniq built the rock monument, leaving a window of light to
link the graves of fallen warriors in Europe with their family and friends
in Canada.
Most of the stones came from a quarry in Normandy. But Irniq, from Repulse
Bay, Nunavut, brought the stone he placed on top from his home territory.
Jean wrapped up her two-day visit with the veterans, her first foreign trip
as governor-general, on a light-hearted note.
As she said her goodbyes to the performers gathered on stage, she found
herself dancing and laughing and in no apparent hurry to get in her car and leave.
The Gazette (Montreal) 2005
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Old 11-01-2005, 10:23 PM   #2
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FROM: THE MONTREAL GAZETTE NEWSPAPER WEBSITE

_http://www.canada.com/montreal/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=789e7076-ef
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(http://www.canada.com/montreal/montr...b-69a9888c6c4a)

Aboriginal Veterans Remember Dieppe Liberation And Earlier Disastrous Raid
Michelle Macafee Canadian Press

Monday, October 31, 2005

1 | _2_
(http://www.canada.com/montreal/montr...88c6c4a&page=2) | _NEXT >>_
(http://www.canada.com/montreal/montr...d5e-969b-69a98
88c6c4a&page=2) First Nation veterans Len Desjarlais, left, from
Victoria, B.C. and Daisa Nebenionquit from Naughton, Ont. visit the Canadian War
Cemetery in Dieppe, France on Monday. (CP/Andrew Vaughan)

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DIEPPE, France (CP) - An impromptu visit to the site of the Allies'
disastrous raid on Dieppe in 1942 brought back vivid memories Monday for some
aboriginal veterans who later helped liberate the port town.
The veterans, who are taking part in a spiritual journey to commemorate the
aboriginal contribution to both the First and Second World Wars, say avenging
the loss of more than 900 comrades that Aug. 19 day was foremost on their
minds during the victorious 1944 battle.
"They gave the 2nd Division a chance to come in because they lost a hell of a
lot of men in the raid," said Charlie St. Germaine, a Metis from Paddle
Prairie, Alta., who served with the Calgary Highlanders.
"We thought, 'Look out, you're going to get it now for what you did to our
boys in '42'."
Robert Bruce, who drove a supply truck with the Royal Canadian Army Service
Corps, tried to choke back the tears as he visited a memorial to the Canadian
contribution.
"I lost a lot of good friends," said Bruce, an 83-year-old Metis from
Winnipeg. "I don't know what you want to call it - revenge maybe - but at least
let's pay them back somehow."
About 20 veterans, part of a delegation of nearly 300 elders, youths and
cultural performers on an eight-day tour of France and Belgium, asked organizers
for the detour to Dieppe and a nearby Canadian war cemetery instead of
sticking to a planned low-key day of travel between Sunday and Tuesday's scheduled
events.
The 1942 raid was orchestrated to ease pressure on hard-pressed Allied forces
in Russia and North Africa. Of the nearly 5,000 Canadian who participated,
913 died and another 1,946 were taken prisoner.
There has been much debate through the years about whether the soldiers died
needlessly, or if the ill-fated attack contributed to the success of D-Day
two years later.
As Bruce stared from the rocky beach at the steep white cliffs that offered
the Germans an exceptional vantage point over the Canadians, he struggled to
accept the more positive interpretation.
"They came here with no supplies and they could only carry so much ammunition
and grenades, so they were either going to be killed or taken prisoner,"
said Bruce.
"They claimed they learned a lot to prepare for the real invasion at
Normandy, but it was at a hell of a cost."
The French honour the sacrifice with a small, picturesque park, Place du
Canada, that includes two red and white Canadian flag flowerbeds and a stone
monument tracing centuries-old links between Canada and Dieppe.
During the veterans' brief stop on the rainy, windy shore, some were caught
off guard by an unexpected expression of gratitude. A young French woman
approached the group and asked if they were veterans - then promptly burst into
tears.
"I'm too emotional," the woman said as she struggled for words. "How do I say
thank you?"
Bertha Houle Clark, a veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force Women's
Division, quickly tried to comfort the woman by giving her the entire pile of small
Canadian flags and flag pins she carried with her.
"I was so happy and I think she was happy with that," said Clark.
Giving aboriginal veterans the recognition they feel has eluded them through
the years is one of the main goals of this trip, organized by various
aboriginal groups and elders and funded by Veterans Affairs.
But when they reminisce about their days in battle and remember their fallen
comrades, the veterans are adamant they all considered themselves Canadian
soldiers first and foremost and fought side by side no matter what their
backgrounds.
St. Germaine, who enlisted two months before he was eligible to try to "catch
up" with his older brother, said the troops stayed in Dieppe for several
days after the liberation to celebrate, but it wasn't easy preparing for the
planned military parade.
"It was a little discouraging because we had to iron our uniforms," the
81-year-old, who still works as a welder, said with a laugh.
"So we put sand in our mess tins and heated them to use as irons, but I don't
think we looked any better than we did before actually."
Of the 20 veterans participating in the trip, only 18 were able to join
Monday's tour.
One veteran fell and broke his hip in a slippery hotel shower early in the
trip and has been recovering in hospital, while another was taken to hospital
Monday morning.
A medical team has travelled with Veterans Affairs on all its pilgrimages to
Europe to help the vets cope with an exhausting schedule of events.
The Canadian Press 2005
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Old 11-02-2005, 06:31 PM   #3
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I have an uncle who was there. He left last week. He was in the army in Korea, Princess Pats
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Old 11-03-2005, 11:31 PM   #4
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I've been reading about that. I believe Miss Six Nations is with the Veterans in Europe.
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Old 11-08-2005, 12:43 AM   #5
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Hi
Did anybody get a report about the first nations over in France because all the trouble with the riots?
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