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Nahanni Fontaine, MLA St. Johns
May 30, 2017

Honouring Sagkeeng First Nations Students

This past April, a group of high schools students from my home community of Sagkeeng First Nation, traveled to Europe to take part in the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. For two years, the students fundraised $5000 each required to participate in the trip. Additionally, each student was required to research and pay homage to a soldier or veteran.

During the twelve days, the students traveled to Berlin, Amsterdam, Belgium and Poland visiting Canadian war cemeteries honouring our veterans; culminating in the 100th Anniversary Ceremony at Vimy Ridge. The students also had the opportunity to visit the house of Anne Frank.

The trip enabled students to experience firsthand the important role Indigenous Veterans played in each of the World Wars and the Korean Conflict. They were touched to hear of the sacrifices our people made fighting for our rights and freedoms. Madame Speaker, a monument stands in Sagkeeng honouring thirty-one soldiers from our community, including my grandfather, that I suspect now, has more meaning and connection for the students.

Alongside family, friends, educators and Sagkeeng Chief and Council, I am very proud of each of these students and look forward to seeing their own personal journeys unfold. Please join me in congratulating Sagkeeng First Nation students for taking important steps in guiding their own education while honouring all Canadian soldiers and veterans.