Indigenous Veterans Commemorated with Headstones: “Canadians Must Honor Them” – Kingston

Cheryle Maracle often visits her family’s burial site in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, visits family members, or picks walnuts and medicine nearby.

Now she must visit a new headstone in honor of her great-grandfather, a veteran of World Wars I and II.

“We didn’t know we were going to get it,” said Maracle, great-granddaughter of veteran Francis Randall Brant.

“It was a nice surprise to receive such a gift. It is important that our people who fought in the wars be recognized. So it was nice to have him.

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Previously unmarked, the burial site of Pvt. Brant is now remembered with a headstone bearing the Wolf Clan emblem, as part of a project led by the federally supported Last Post Fund.

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“We played a major role in the war,” says Maracle.

“Talk about code, and our people are known to be fearless. I’m sure their time in the war was very, very important. I think for these reasons it is important to commemorate.

The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte say eight World War I and II veterans now have proper headstones marking their military service.

“Our people fought in all the great battles, both at Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele and Hill 70 during the First World War,” says Chief Don Maracle, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.

“I think it’s very important to give equal honor to all veterans who have served, and that includes Indigenous peoples.

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According to Chief Maracle, 104 members of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte served in World War I and 213 in World War II, adding that many continue to serve.

“Many of these people made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives,” says Chief Maracle.

“So Canadians should honor them.

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The project to provide headstones to Indigenous veterans was launched in 2019 and has so far provided 165 headstones nationwide.

But that only scratches the surface of ongoing commemoration efforts, as many graves of Indigenous veterans have yet to be located.

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