Let’s remember all of our veterans this year

The Nov. 10 editorial for the Williams Lake Tribune

I Love This Land

You were and always shall be my brother

We were all the same color wrapped in the flag of this nation

My blood flowed as freely as yours, mixed in the field’s one could not be distinguished from the other

Yet when we came home, when the nation’s colors were removed

Difference became apparent, not between you and me, God willing never

But in the eyes of those for whom we laid down our lives.

Oh, we still stood shoulder to shoulder in parades, but the government thought that your life was more valuable than mine

So you were given land property, while I waited and waited,

I know what you were given was not enough for what we endured

Still it was much more than I.

I am not envious of you brother, I believe you deserve even more than you received

But it hurt me very badly, I am not ashamed to say I cried and why not

I bled, I died, I killed, why does my country think I am unworthy

The enemy I fought could never be as cruel as the people I came back to embrace.

I gave so much, lived through so much and then you,

you who I would give all for, you pushed me aside as if I was inconsequential

I feel as if I have been spit upon by one I honored

Do I feel good having to ask you for what should have been given long ago, no?

In fact, I am a little ashamed to ask for justice in this

For I never went to war for money, for glory, for reward, I went because it was the right thing to do and God

forgive me, I would go again.

This may seem an old wound to you but it is a wound that never heals

For it is a wound to my people’s heart and soul and insult to our pride

And we deserve so much better, especially from you.

Bruce Mack submitted the above poem, written by Chief R. Stacey, to the Tribune for our Remembrance Day edition.

“I think it is very fitting that we understand our picture of the war and veterans is incomplete,” he says.

He is right.

According to the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, one third of First Nations people aged 18 to 45 enlisted in the First World War. While on the front, Indigenous Canadians were, mostly, treated the same as their non-Indigenous counterparts, many even having to learn English on the battlefield.

When they got home, that changed.

While federal policies, according to the Canadian War Museum, extended post-war benefits to non-Aboriginals, such as access to land and low interest rate loans, those same benefits did not reach the Indigenous Canadians who fought and died for our country.

Still, in the Second World War, at least 3,000 First Nation members enlisted, not including many Inuit and Metis who also joined the fight.

This Remembrance Day it’s important that we recognize all of our veterans.

It’s important to remember that those who fought and died for our country had to struggle when they came home to even be considered as equal to their fellow soldiers.

The Williams Lake Tribune

Just Posted

2017 fire babies pose for photo one year later

23 babies and their moms gathered for a photo shoot at the Williams Lake Fire Department

Mount Polley Mine ordered to pay lost wages to 26 laid off employees

The decision comes at a time when mine employees have been on strike for the past seven weeks

Column: protected areas – how much is enough?

Columnist Jim Hilton says attitudes need to change

2017 wildfires give B.C. mom chance to say thank you to officer who saved her son

An unlikely encounter in the rural community of Likely, near Williams Lake

Mennonite volunteers help wildfire victims rebuild homes

Volunteers sometimes come for a week at a time

BC Games: Day 2 comes to an end

Hundreds of medals have been handed out at the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

PHOTO GALLERY: BC Games Day 2

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

BC Wildfire update on 14 major Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

UPDATED: Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters defy eviction order

Demonstrators at Camp Cloud in Burnaby say they won’t leave, but will meet with city officials

Most Read