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November 13, 2023
THUNDER BAY — The vision of the late Red Rock Indian Band veteran Charles “Willy” John, who founded the Native Veterans Association of Northwestern Ontario, was highlighted at Lakehead University’s National Indigenous Veterans Day ceremony.
“I got to travel with Willy around the region meeting different people, collecting stories and starting to learn how to use a little bit of technology,” says David Thompson, research developer and project manager for the Native Veterans Association of Northwestern Ontario and Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek citizen. “I interviewed people across the region, earned their trust, and they provided me with some oral stories. As Anishinaabe people, that is our tradition—to pass everything down through oral stories.”
Thompson says John wanted him to put the oral stories he had gathered into a book for students to learn in school.