Huron-Wendat Nation joins Royal 22e Regiment for Remembrance Day parade

Veterans from Wendake and members of the R22R stand in respect of symbolic commemorative artifacts during the ceremony. Photo : Cavalier Marc-André Leclerc, Public Affairs, 5 GBMC

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By Corporal Nicolas Comeau, 438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron

On November 11, more than 80 soldiers from the 3rd Royal 22e Regiment (R22R) and members of the Huron-Wendat Nation participated in the Armistice parade held in Wendake, Quebec, marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Approximately 4,000 Indigenous soldiers fought among the 650,000 Canadians during the First World War.

For several years, members of the Wendake community have been gathering near Kabir Kouba River during Remembrance Day, when Indigenous veterans and military members, both retired and active, recall their military experiences.

Since the first edition of this commemorative celebration, Indigenous traditions have been integrated to the ceremonies, including the purification and blessing of the parade by the village sage, the word of the Grand Chief and a sharing circle.

In 2016, Colonel Stéphane Boivin of R22R reached out to Wendake’s Grand Chief Konrad Sioui in order pay homage to the local Indigenous communities by assigning a befitting name to the regiment’s next series of operations. During the 2017 Rembrance Day parade, the name “Ahki’wahcha” was chosen, which means “spirit of warriors” in Wendat.

This year, a commemorative plaque was installed at the parade site. It reads as follows:

“The Huron-Wendat Nation highlights the participation of Huron men and women in various conflicts and peace missions where, with dignity and generosity, they defended the country and represented their people. We respectfully salute those whose names are written in history and those who are known to us.”

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