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November 2, 2023
ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — Today, the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) salutes First Nations Veterans with the launch of a new program and a new campaign to honour our warriors. SCO is also sharing details about our upcoming gathering for Veterans and is making an annual call for submissions to our Veterans Wall of Honour.
“Since the early days of colonization, members of our Nations have played an enormous role in Canada’s military history, including service during wars and other global conflicts,” stated SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “Today and every day, we need to recognize and honour our First Nation Veterans from southern Manitoba for their bravery, sacrifice, and achievements. I am proud that SCO is launching a new program to recognize and provide support to our First Nations Veterans.”
The First Nations Veterans Program is a new initiative created to address the specific needs of First Nation Veterans in Manitoba. The program is designed by First Nation Veterans, for First Nation Veterans.
Our program provides a range of services to support First Nations Veterans, including assistance with Veterans Affairs claims to ensure our Veterans receive the benefits and services they rightfully deserve; traditional healing support; and connecting Veterans with fellow First Nation Veterans. Our program facilitates connections between First Nations Veterans, fostering a strong and supportive community where Veterans can share their experiences, challenges, and celebrate their successes.
SCO is recognizing First Nations Veterans, and all Veterans, through a public awareness campaign that launched this week. It is visible on electronic billboards across southern Manitoba throughout the month of November.
The awareness campaign compliments SCO’s Wall of Honour, which features Veterans from our member Nations from World War I and World War II to the Korean War and beyond. SCO is asking anyone who wants to honour a Veteran from our 34 Anishinaabe and Dakota Nations to share that person’s name and photo with us by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We owe our Veterans so much and it all begins with recognition,” added Canupawakpa Dakota Nation Chief Lola Thunderchild. “I encourage everyone from our Nations who knows of a Veteran to come forward and share that person’s story with us. SCO is also encouraging any Veterans from the 34 member Nations to attend our First Nation Veterans Gathering .”
Earlier this year, SCO announced that we will develop a monument and commemoration for our Veterans and will host a large gathering later this month. SCO’s first-ever First Nation Veterans Gathering takes place on November 27 at the Hilton Winnipeg Airport Suites. We invite Veterans from the 34 SCO member Nations and all First Nation Veterans to attend this free event. During the gathering, participants will have the opportunity to contribute ideas to help SCO develop new programs and services to support First Nation Veterans. Veterans and their families can register for this free event here.
“We all have a duty to remember and honour the sacrifices of our peoples who have answered the call to serve,” concluded Grand Chief Daniels. “Whether in times of war, peacekeeping, or helping respond to natural disasters, these brave citizens were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice so that all of us could live in peace. We owe it to them to do what we can to properly recognize their service.”
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 85,500 citizens in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.
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