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Wednesday, 07 August 2013 14:18

Métis people should be proud of monument organizer’s efforts

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It was a fantastic day for those people of Métis heritage on Aug. 3. Residents finally saw the completion and unveiling of a special monument to honour 16 Métis who fought in the First and Second World Wars as well as the Korean War.

The unveiling ceremony at Lac Pelletier Regional Park honoured these war veterans from the Lac Pelletier area, and attracted family members scattered across western Canada.
It is the first one of its size in Saskatchewan that specifically honours the contributions of Métis war veterans.
The fact the monument is finally a reality can be attributed to the hard work of the Prairie Dog Métis Local 123 Association — and especially its president Cecile Blanke. The monument was a project Blanke held dear to her heart. She knew all of the veterans listed on the monument and recalls as a child having listened to them tell their war stories, when they would visit with her father. Blanke isn’t only responsible for seeing the monument become a reality, but she even designed the unique memorial.
Aug. 3 must have been a special day for this local woman who has ensured the rights and history of Métis people are front and centre in Swift Current and southwest Saskatchewan.
She attested to that fact when she told our Prairie Post reporter Matthew Liebenberg: “Even if I didn’t know them I still would have pursued my goal. I have made my goal today and that monument couldn’t be worth more to me than if it was made of gold.”
Well done Cecile! You have helped ensure the names of those 16 Métis war veterans will be remembered in a very fitting and enduring way.

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor