MONTREAL, June 19, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - In the context of the June 21st celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day, and in alignment with the objectives of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, The Last Post Fund is pleased to announce the launch of a new initiative aimed at honouring the memory of Indigenous Veterans.
Falling under the Funeral and Burial Program, this new initiative aims to focus outreach efforts specifically on the Indigenous community of Veterans.
In August of 2018, Last Post Fund Executive Director Edouard Pahud was first made aware of a list, prepared by amateur historian Yann Castelnot, of Indigenous Veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces, past and present.
"Castelnot's exhaustive list of Indigenous Veterans shed light on the fact that some Indigenous Veterans' service may have gone unrecognized, as Indigenous Veterans may not have been made aware of their eligibility for funeral, burial and grave marker benefits. This new initiative aims to address the situation, in the spirit of ongoing reconciliation efforts happening across Canada," commented Edouard Pahud, Executive Director of the Last Post Fund.
In addition to promoting the Funeral and burial program, the initiative offers Indigenous Veterans' families the possibility of adding an Indigenous Veteran's traditional name to existing military markers and providing a military marker if no marker exists.
Edouard Pahud, Executive Director of the Last Post Fund states, "In the past, traditional names potentially went unrecorded or were modified when members of Indigenous communities registered for military service. Adding an Indigenous Veteran's traditional name to their military grave marker is one more way for the Last Post Fund to honour both their military service and their Indigenous heritage."
The Last Post Fund Indigenous Program Coordinator will be working with Indigenous communities throughout Canada to communicate the assistance available through the Funeral and Burial program and to coordinate with researchers in the different communities.
Last Post Fund is actively recruiting researchers from Indigenous communities across Canada to assist in identifying Veterans' graves. Last Post Fund invites potential researchers as well as family members of Veterans to contact the organization for all inquiries by emailing: [email protected] or by contacting Maria Trujillo, Indigenous Program Coordinator at 1-800-465-7113, ext. 222.
About the Last Post Fund
The Last Post Fund's mission is to ensure that no Veteran is denied a dignified funeral and burial, as well as a military grave marker, due to insufficient funds at time of death. Its primary mandate is to deliver the Veterans Affairs Canada Funeral and Burial Program which provides funeral, burial and grave marking benefits for eligible Canadian and Allied Veterans. Founded in 1909, the Last Post Fund is one of Canada's oldest charities.
SOURCE Last Post Fund
For further information: Information and interview requests: Justine McIntyre, Communications Officer, Last Post Fund | Fonds du Souvenir, 514-866-2727, ext. 229, [email protected]