April 7, 2017
(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde will be part of the official Canadian delegation that will travel to France to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9th, 2017. First Nations veterans, Elders and Knowledge Keepers are also traveling to France to participate in the commemoration and other ceremonies.
“I will be there on behalf of the Assembly of First Nations to honour all the brave First Nations veterans that served proudly and those who gave their life to protect their homelands,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “First Nations fought for this country alongside other Canadian soldiers even though they could not vote or enjoy the same rights as other Canadians, and were denied benefits by the Indian Affairs Branch of Veterans Affairs. Yet they served with distinction, and so many of our people continue to serve. We all owe them our deepest gratitude and respect.”
While in Vimy, National Chief Bellegarde will take part in many official ceremonies and also traditional ceremonies to repatriate the spirits of forgotten and fallen soldiers buried in foreign lands.
You can get more information on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9, 2017, at: http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/first-world-war/vimy-ridge/100-anniversary
The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.
Alain Garon AFN Bilingual Communications Officer 613-292-0857 or [email protected]