In the North Okanagan, the Splatsin First Nation held a public ceremony to honour Remembrance Day.
Attendees gathered around a cairn at the Splatsin Community Centre to pay tribute to loved ones who served and to recognize the work of all veterans, including Splatsin veterans.
“Our men did not hesitate to volunteer to go into service in spite of how they were treated when they returned home. They did what they did for service of the country, service of the flag and for freedom,” Splatsin chief Kukpi7 Wayne Christian said in his opening remarks.
Splatsin Councillor Doug Thomas said some Indigenous veterans of the first and second World Wars returned to Canada only to have their children taken to residential schools.
“[There’s] the feeling of irony that our people went to serve a country where further atrocities happened. For me, that is another thing not to forget because they say if we don’t pay attention to history, we are prone to repeat it. That goes for wars. That goes for residential schools,” said Thomas.
“Going forward in reconciliation, it was very good to see such a wide representation of people from Enderby and the local MP here to support our veterans.”
Official, unofficial ceremonies return for Remembrance Day in the Central Okanagan
Among those remembering family members was former chief Gloria Morgan, whose father William Edwards and brother Romeo Edwards were both veterans.
“I’m so proud of them and I know their hearts were so strong wanting to represent our country in the wars that they served in,” Morgan said.
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