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Wednesday , 8 December 2021

Local Indigenous Veteran’s grave featured on national poster

A local hero’s headstone is being featured on the new national advertisement poster for Indigenous Veterans grave marker initiative for Remembrance Day.

At the start of 2019, the Last Post Fund introduced the Indigenous Veterans Initiative (IVI). An initiative of the Last Post Fund National Office, the IVI is consistent with the Canadian government’s efforts towards advancing reconciliation and renewing the relationship with Indigenous peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.

This initiative has two components:

  • Indigenous Unmarked Graves To provide grave markers to Indigenous Veterans deceased for over five years and lying in unmarked graves.
  • Indigenous Traditional Name Marking To add traditional names of Indigenous Veterans to existing military grave markers.

On December 6, 2011, Mr. Lloyd Poitras passed away at the age of 91 years. Private Lloyd James Poitras (M67638) served with the Calgary Highlanders Infantry 2nd division, #5 platoon A company, during WWII from 1941 – 1945 in England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. He was discharged in 1946.

Jamie Beaupre is the President of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 183 in Bonnyville.

“Proudly one of our own stones of one of our own vets Lloyd Poitras from Kehewin is being displayed on this poster,” President Beaupre told Lakeland Connect.

President Beaupre says Kehewin graves are complete but they are working on other graves and cemeteries in the area.
“If anyone is aware of any Indigenous veterans graves without a permanent marker (wood is not permanent) or their marker is in disrepair to contact us on Facebook, please message Bonnyville Legion 183,” President Beaupre said.
The Unmarked Grave Program was created in 1996 for veterans without a marked grave across Canada. In October 2018 the organization came up with the idea to create a program specifically for Indigenous veterans after a researcher Yann Castelnot found 18,000 names of Indigenous veterans. This initiative was to support the current reconciliation climate in Canada.

Both of these initiatives mentioned above require research and community support from members of Indigenous communities throughout Canada.

If you think that a family member or a member of your community may qualify for this program, or if you would like to contribute to the community research effort, please contact Maria Trujillo, Indigenous Program Coordinator at 1-800-465-7113 extension 222, email: [email protected]. or the Bonnyville Legion 183 on Facebook.

 

About Arthur C. Green

Arthur C. Green is from Whitbourne Newfoundland and graduated from the CNA Journalism Program. Arthur also studied Business Marketing and Political Science at Memorial University in Essex England and St. John's Newfoundland. Green has worked for such organizations as CBC, CBC Radio, NTV, Saltwire, Great West Media, CKLB Radio, Vista Radio, and Postmedia. He also loves Jiggs Dinner!