Tsq’éscen First Nation (Canim Lake Band) will commemorate National Aboriginal Veterans Day with a flag-raising ceremony in partnership with the District of 100 Mile House Tuesday morning. Nov. 8.
The public is invited to attend event which is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. in front of the District Council Chambers in Cpelmétkwe (100 Mile House in Secwepemctsin, the Secwepemc language). Tsq’éscen chief and council, staff and community members as well as representatives from the District of 100 Mile House will be in attendance.
“This event is important to our community as we pay tribute to our members who have volunteered, and continue to volunteer, with the Canadian Forces,” noted the Canim Lake Band (Tsq’escen) in a news release.
“We will always remember our Veterans for their sacrifices and bravery in serving Canada and our people. We are honoured to host this event together with the District of 100 Mile House, in recognition of, and respect for, our Secwépemc traditional territory and the contributions our people have made.
Although the exact numbers are not known, thousands of First Nations people enlisted in the Canadian army and served in the First and Second World Wars (out of approximately 100,000 Indigenous People in Canada). Indigenous soldiers had many skills valuable to the military: “patience, stealth and marksmanship” (veterans.gc.ca).
“Many of the Tsq’éscnemc who joined the army had skills as trappers and hunters, whose working day started at 3 a.m. and went until 4 p.m. and then early to bed by 7 p.m. This rigid lifestyle helped them to adjust to army life.
“Tsq’éscen veterans served as Gunners, Division Tankers and infantry. One of the vets delivered messages to the front lines on a motorcycle, and another worked in engineering and helped to build bridges. A few Tsq’éscen vets walked ahead of those at the front line, checking for land mines. Another worked to support their fellow community members while they were so far away from home. Many were injured, both physically and emotionally, and carried those scars with them for the rest of their lives.”
The following Veterans will be honoured through this flag-raising ceremony:
Morris Dixon who served in WW I (also a POW).
Julian Boyce served in WW I and WW II.
Peter Christopher served in WW I and WW II.
Louie Emile served in WW I and WW II.
Sam Archie served in WW II.
Henry Bob served in WW II.
Edward Dixon served in WW II.
Paul Theodore served in WW II.
Joseph Archie served in the Army Reserves.
“We also honour Legionary/Private Brett S. R. Archie who left to volunteer in Kharkiv, Ukraine in August 2022. Since Elementary School, Brett wanted to be a soldier. In 2016, he attended the Raven Program hosted by the Royal Canadian Navy in Esquimalt, B.C., where he was trained in military knowledge, inspections, physical training, weapons handling, navigation with compass, first aid, drill, outdoor field craft and confidence building exercises. While waiting to hear back from the Canadian Forces, Brett jumped at an opportunity (through a friend already serving) to volunteer in the Ukraine. Before leaving, he trained to a Level 3 First Aid and is now on the front lines working as a medic. We are so proud of him.”
“We recognize all our local heroes and honour them for their contributions to the freedom and peace we enjoy as Canadians.”