'Today is our remembrance': Six Nations veterans hold annual Remembrance Day ceremony
Members of the Six Nations Veterans Association gathered at Six Nations Veterans Park on Sunday for a ceremony to honour its war heroes.
“Today is our remembrance, the Six Nations veteran’s Remembrance Day. It’s different than the regular November 11th day, because we honour our veterans on a different day,” Bruce Patterson, First Vice-President for the Six Nations Veterans Association said.
The event has been held on the third Sunday of October for close to 30 years and typically includes airplane flyovers, the shooting of a cannon, and a parade through the community. Due to the pandemic, this year’s ceremony was limited to a smaller scale.
“We have a parade that we march in and then we do this kind of a ceremony after the parade,” Patterson said.
Sunday’s event was also an opportunity for those currently serving to honour the ones that came before them. Jessica Miller, a financial operations manager with the 31 Canadian Brigade Headquarters, took part in the ceremony and helped lay wreaths.
“It’s a high honour to understand that the First Nations people did serve in all of the wars, and had very good representation,” Miller said.
According to Miller, the military is working to raise awareness about Indigenous history and culture through different ideas like the orange t-shirt campaign.
“It honours the Indigenous and First Nations personnel. It brings more awareness of our community. And it brings the community together,” Miller said.
Over 60 Six Nations members served in various conflicts. Patterson said the association also honours all veterans on Remembrance Day. He hopes the pandemic will continue to ease and the association will be able to host the parade events again next year.