SELKIRK, MB, March 24, 2020 /CNW/ - WWII Métis Veteran Donald Russell Linklater will receive thanks from the Métis Nation and a $20,000 Recognition Payment on his 101st birthday at 2:00 p.m. (CT) at his home in Selkirk, Manitoba. The Recognition Payment is part of the Métis Veterans Recognition Program established in partnership with the Trudeau government to commemorate forgotten Métis soldiers.
At the wishes of his family and adhering to emergency measure protocols surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Métis Nation Minister of Veterans Affairs David Chartrand is not able to personally present the Recognition Payment to Veteran Linklater.
"Though I cannot be there personally, it is very important that Veteran Linklater receives his long awaited Thank you and Recognition Payment from the Métis Nation, Prime Minister Trudeau, and Canada on his 101st Birthday." States Minster Chartrand, "I look forward to having an opportunity in the very near future to meet Veteran Linklater and learn from his life experiences."
Minister Chartrand goes on to say, "The impacts of COVID-19 are reminiscent of war as we face this world crisis that is ravaging our most vulnerable in society. As we fight our invisible enemy, it is heartening to steal a moment in time from the rage of battle to celebrate and honour the contributions of Veteran Linklater and fellow Métis Brethren in liberating the world of tyranny in WWII."
On September 10, 2019, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued an apology for the injustices Métis Veterans faced upon returning home to Canada. The Métis Nation and Prime Minister Trudeau committed to Recognition Payments being issued to every surviving WWII Métis Veteran to further reconciliation and acknowledge the negligent treatment by Canada that affected the Métis Community.
"On behalf of the Métis Nation and our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, it is my great privilege to present Veteran Linklater with a Recognition Payment in the amount of $20,000 on the most auspicious occasion of his 101st birthday." Said Minister Chartrand, "Even in these times of uncertainty and social distancing we can still unite and celebrate the heroes who were willing to sacrifice everything for our freedom and liberties."
Donald (Russell) Linklater was born March 24th, 1919 in Cloverdale Manitoba. Russell grew up on the family farm which still stands on the original homestead. After school Russell was hired by Manitoba Rolling Mill. In 1940 he signed up for service in the Air force and worked as a Physical Trainer Instructor until 1945. Russell had two brothers who were in the service as well, James Stuart and Ross Fletcher Linklater.
After his service he returned to Manitoba Rolling Mill. In 1950 Russell married Elaine (Barnard) and they had two children Gary and Linda. Russell retired from the Manitoba Rolling Mill in 1984. Retirement for Russell meant another journey in his active life. A time to enjoy badminton, bowling, baseball, working with the Special Olympics and singing in the choir.
The MNC represents the Métis Nation in Canada at the national and international levels. The Métis Nation's homeland includes the 3 Prairie Provinces and extends into the contiguous parts of British Columbia, Ontario, the Northwest Territories and the United States. There are approximately 400,000 Métis Nation citizens in Canada, roughly a quarter of all Aboriginal peoples in the country.
SOURCE Métis National Council
For further information: Ke Ning, Métis National Council, Email : [email protected], Phone: 613-297-5193; April Hourie, Office of the President, Manitoba Metis Federation, Phone: 204-485-7944, Email: [email protected]