SINCE 1945


The Korean War ended in 1953 , but then the Cold War . All those who live at the time actually fear the impending conflict on a larger scale in Europe between the superpowers. Canada , as a member of the Organization of the North Atlantic Treaty (founded in 1949) , agrees to provide a brigade group of infantry and an air wing continuous operation in Europe. New battalions are made while the Canadian Forces are experiencing unprecedented expansion in peacetime .

Wuttunee Mary , a member of the Red Pheasant Band in Saskatchewan , enrolled in aviation in the mid 1950s at the age of 21 years. " I did not like much to my mother remembers Wuttunee . She thought it was not a woman's place . " But Mary 's two brothers had already enlisted in the army and she has a younger sister in the Air Force and one in the Navy. "We had to have blood warrior ," she says . However, the military is it " definitely a culture shock "

We arrived in a place we had never been , people do not speak English in Montreal. When you ask them something they do not understand what you wanted. This is why I hated Montreal , as well as to make me yell during exercise with a small s / off [ NCO ] because I did not have not and my sister did not either not any more than my aunt. You continually threatened by two with you attach a cable for you to follow others. We were not used to yell at us , mostly by men , perhaps by our mother, but not my father . He never yelled at us, he did not believe it . Then , suddenly , you come to Saint- Jean ( Quebec ) , on an exercise where everyone shouts field. It was quite a shock . I hated it at the end of three weeks, I wrote a letter of resignation that I showed to the physical education teacher , as a corporal . I told him I wanted to show him something and I asked him to help me . He replied , "Of course ." So I showed him my letter of resignation and he rolled on the ground with laughter . And every time he looked at me, he burst out laughing and I watched him and when he stopped laughing , I asked him : "What is he so funny? " He said, " Mary , you can not resign. " I told him :" What do you mean I can not resign? I just do , I have here my letter to prove it. " I did not realize that I could not quit. I was in the army.

"When I joined the Army ... when I got my commission ... I worked for Indian Affairs ... ... I still went to school business ...
Colonel Patrick ... Colonel of the Governor General's Foot Guards ... asked me if I would join the CWAC ... I said "of course" ... This was a group
composed entirely of women , you see , it was formed in 51 it is possible to employ women ... in the Armoured Corps ... I've always worked in the orderly room, where it was only the work administrative . I used to go
see members of the 30th Field Artillery Regiment and [ present ] all their records ... I had been well trained . I was a sergeant - major. I knew what I was doing ... When I started ... in 51 ... I was a soldier . I worked hard to get all my successive grades until I became Sergeant Major ... It was just before I get my commission as an officer . Lieutenant and lieutenant on the same day ... I took care of everything Administrative ... Sometimes I had to work until four in the morning ... There were about 400 people in the camp ... and he had to do everything ... J ' loved my job while I was in the Army . But I was glad to get out. I used to spend a lot of free time there. Even when I did it was not required, because there was so much work to do. "


Wuttunee used in aviation for three years in Cold Lake , where she is responsible for analyzing the trajectories of missiles and jet aircraft, before working in the civilian at Computing Devices of Canada ( CDC) until 1960. "I think it taught me a very positive attitude because nobody has ever told me," Mary, you can not work on the computer because ... , '" she said later . "When you enrôliez in the armed forces , at an air base [ ... ] you're a person like any other, that was what was different. People accept you for what you were. "

Military statistics compiled during the Cold War did not distinguish between Aboriginal and non -Aboriginal people , and therefore does not exist for this period of reliable figures on the number of native soldiers. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Aboriginal people have continued to volunteer to serve their country as well as during the world wars . Infantry units as The Algonquin Regiment , The Royal Winnipeg Rifles and The Regina Rifle Regiment, recruited in rural areas with a sizeable indigenous population, are representative of this participation. The Indian News , monthly Indian Affairs seems the mid- 1960s until the early 1970s , highlights Aboriginal participation in various aspects of national life in Canada , including military service. There are often short portraits of men and women as Leading Aircraftman KNB Bannab technician in photography at 1 Wing RCAF Marville , France , Sergeant John Martin, Six Nations , with the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment , serving with his battalion in Cyprus in April 1967 as a drum major , aviator head Geraldine Restoule, an Ojibway from the Dokis reserve in northern Ontario , Sergeant Ernie Simpson ( band Vinfield Okanagan , British Columbia ) part of the Royal Canadian electrical and Mechanical Engineers , and the soldier Dolphus L'Hirondelle ( a Cree Lake Ste. Anne , Alberta ) , a member of the Royal Corps of the Canadian Army , all of which are two in the 13th transportation Company in Edmonton, Alberta .

"We moved to Cape Croker [ when I was young ] . We are addicted to agriculture until the beginning of World War II. My father was wounded in Italy ... Five members of the [ reserve ] ... were killed during World War II .
Eight during the First ... In the past , members of our community have always volunteered to serve in the military and all here are very proud of that fact forces.
I wanted to walk in the footsteps of my family and I think this is the main reason [ why I joined in November 1951 ] and I wanted to see the country, what I did.
[ I preferred Aviation ;] in my opinion, it was the best service. I did not want to march in the infantry or not to enlist in the Navy ... [ My experience in the military helped me to ] organize myself and discipline myself . After my tour ended , I held a
Advisor position here in the reserves for several years and I was chairman of our board . "

Again, the depth of experience difficult to generalize . Harvey Horlock , of Toronto , whose family has a long history of military involvement that dates back to the War of 1812, joined the Toronto Scottish Regiment in September 1952. " The Korean War was in full swing and, of course , everyone wanted to be in the army ," he says . And like most of my uncles served in the army , it drew me like a magnet. " As a reservist , he attended several courses of instruction relating to the Cold War, which relate in particular to " nuclear war , chemical and biological "and" nodes and links . " The first dealing with the protection of infrastructure such as water distribution networks against biological attack , and the latter prepare reservists crowd control and rescue operations required in case of forced evacuation of cities or towns in following a nuclear attack . Fortunately , there will be no nuclear disaster, but when Hurricane Hazel ravaged southern Ontario in 1954 , it uses the Toronto Scottish Regiment to assist civilian authorities in the search for bodies and survivors. Joe Meconse , born in the territory of trapping his father near Churchill , Manitoba, joined the militia in 1960 and two years later, he voluntarily enlisted in the Regular Force. It serves as "aid to the civil power " during the October Crisis in 1970. "It was very unfortunate circumstances [ ... ] one of the saddest episodes of my military career , Meconse admit , when I had to carry a loaded weapon in my own country and point to my fellow citizens, but it had to be done . "

Other indigenous male soldiers are sent overseas territories. Ernest Nadjiwan "wants to follow in the footsteps of his family" when he joined the army in 1951. In 1963, he served in Yemen , " in his eyes, a terrible place to go," dominated by the "three M - mosquitoes, dirt and malnutrition." Joe Meconse part of the UN contingent in Cyprus from September 1964 to March 1965 . " I was in the forefront [ ... ] we had to ensure that the Cypriots and Greeks [ remained ] on their side, and the Turks of them , he says. We were in the middle. It was our primary role to help meet, to keep the peace . " Bob Ducharme, Nanaimo, British Columbia, also served in Cyprus and he talks about his good relations with the locals :

I had several friends [ ... ] I had a favorite in the valley where I liked to go places , there was a farmer who used to offer me a coffee , and after a couple of mornings I my jeep parked on the side of the road so that motorists can see it , and I was helping in the fields, cutting the grain and all that [ ... ] that was good. I liked it. Only for a couple of hours , until the sun is high in the sky and it gets too hot !

"We went to England at Bisley in 1959. I was captain of the rifle team
the ... Canadian Army Cadets across Canada ... We got the second place , the English beat us by one point ... and we concourions against all Commonwealth ... I had not really learned to fire a rifle or shotgun. I never fired the gun so that when I was at boarding school and I learned to
operate correctly and safely . Then I learned how to teach younger
who came behind us ... Given everything that has happened in schools ... there
had really terrible things that happened ... I was just fortunate
have positive experiences most of the time . "


Joe Gerard , a Mi'kmaq from Conne River ( Newfoundland ) , considers his stay in Lahr, West Germany , with the 4th Combat Engineer Regiment, as the culmination of his career. "We were in a foreign country and that made the drive [ ... ] more realistic" , does he recalls. In his spare time , he traveled and saw " things that speak to the history books ," such as the Rhine , Munich and the castle of King Ludwig of Bavaria .

The adjustment to military life can be difficult , but it is a source of adventure and personal development. Joe John Sanipass , Big Cove , New Brunswick , is baffled by the severe discipline , morning inspections and shoe shine , but after some time , he met a group of " Aboriginal Saskatchewan [ ... ] with whom he gets along very well " [ translation ] . Others are well served by their campaign history . Lafferty , the Northwest Territories , is that " long, long daylight hours in summer " and the long hours of darkness in winter which is used to allow it to operate almost anywhere . He has no trouble adapting to the service in the Sinai desert . Stephen Simon recalls a training exercise in the country in 1955, he spoke of his culture with a curious friend and one day " they took all our paintings and all [ ... ] I said, " Stay with me, if you are willing to work hard, we have fun and be comfortable . " " Together, they built a tepee and a pot crafted birch bark to boil water and cook a rabbit. Wes Whitford, of Ashmount , Alberta believes that his years in the military taught him to respect more and then allowed him to better jobs . "I was able to cope well with the discipline says Whitford, and it has improved my confidence , I think. I loved it . "

Many CF members see a close affiliation between their own service and that of their indigenous ancestors. "People of my people, the Blackfoot warriors were extraordinary ," said Major Robert E. Crane (Retired), who served in the Signal Corps in Germany , in the Persian Gulf and Alert , among others. Crane, son of a veteran of the Korean War , said: " I wanted to make something of myself and join the army seemed told me [ ... ] The military life has allowed me to gain valuable skills such as self-discipline and the ability to work in teams. " Master Corporal Brian Innes is committed to the adventure. "... The army has an influence on my family for generations, he admits. My father served in Korea and my grandfather was the Second World War , along with other members of my family. I think it is to take my heritage and to honor my family , I decided to serve my country and to help my fellow citizens. "

Ed Borchert , born in Red Deer , Alberta, joined in 1964 and remained in the army until 1995. "If I committed , this is only for regular pay and that my mother had one less mouth to feed at home," he said. During his career, he has " risen through the ranks of lance corporal to sergeant major company ," and in 1983 he received his commission as captain before finally being promoted to major . Borchert describes how military service has "given me the assurance and authority . I learned that the soldier was the most important part of our army, he had the respect and see that it is well treated while respecting the objectives of the organization. " According to him, one of the best aspects of the Canadian Forces is as follows:

you are indigenous , black or purple, it does not matter . The only thing we care about is if you do your job . When I was in the trenches , I was responsible for the guy who was in the trenches with me and its protection . We fought shoulder to shoulder against our brothers , and there was no color or race, we were all soldiers , and it was excellent .

The passage under the flags Borchert instilled " great pride in our past and present military."

The post-Cold War

Jocelyn Paul joined the reserves in 1988 , when he earned his Masters degree at the University of Montreal . After working for the board Attikamek- Montagnais , he decided in 1991 to move to the Regular Force , where he became a platoon commander in the Royal 22e Régiment. This is not an easy time : after the Oka crisis , which pits the Mohawks and their supporters to the Sûreté du Québec and the Canadian Forces in a long face- to-face , some soldiers " were not necessarily all a good opinion of Indians. " Over time, however , he notes that the very inclined to generalize about Aboriginal military personnel , began to realize that this is a complex situation that goes beyond stereotypes.

The end of the Cold War did not bring the " peace dividend " expected . While the Canadian Forces undergo a period of compression in the 1990s , the pace of recovery operations and peacekeeping accelerates. Aboriginal male soldiers continue to serve in war zones around the world . For its part, Jocelyn Paul , then a lieutenant , serving in the area of Krajina in Croatia, from October 1993 to April 1994. "Croatia , Bosnia was really still the war, he says. It's that I've seen the ravages of war, minefields everywhere , people were starving , people who did not have enough to eat , people were a little scared by the bombing , Croats bombing the Serbs and Croats Serbs bombed . " After another period of service in the former Yugoslavia , Captain Paul becomes an aide to Governor General Roméo LeBlanc from 1995 to 1997. In 1992 and 1993 , Corporal Corena Letendre ( a Anishnawbe Pinaymootang , Manitoba ), which is then used in the 2nd Service Battalion is sent to Cambodia to supervise elections in the country . "We were carrying supplies from one region of the country to another, she says. From north to south and east to west, the port city in the north of the country. We were just about anything , starting with supply polling UN and ensure the holding of free and fair elections . " She also works as a volunteer at a local orphanage , " taking care of the babies who were there , many toddlers, and I changed their diapers or I helped them manage their medications, or I enduisais ointment " . Letendre 's daughter is still in the cradle when it is sent to Cambodia , so that his visits " to go take care of these little ones served as an outlet for her maternal love "



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