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#460089 - 02/04/14 06:19 AM canadian aboriginal veterans
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 6379
Loc: 𝒪 𝒦anada
"So we tried to return to our Indian ways.
But when we returned, we were not accepted by people in our own aboriginal communities. We stopped going to Indian gathering for many years because we were vets. The Indians left behind looked at us like we were different... and the people of our reserves pushed us aside. In the Sto:lo nation, the word 'sta:michq' means warrior. These people are not respected. The most highly respected people are 'si:yam' or wise and gentle ones. After WWII, we were thought of as "less then" by our white neghbours, even though we were war veterans. But worse, we were thought of as 'sta:michq' by our own people.

Harold Wells,
Sto:lo Nation,
Chilliwack, B.C.


my daughter read this in class as part of her aboriginal heritage presentation.

Harold Wells, and several other native first nations men, gave up their aboriginal status in order to join the Canadian army and fight for the allies in world war two. Their sacrifice and service was repaid with rejection by their own community and by the country they fought for.

The native side of my family comes from this Sto:lo nation.
Part of the many nations that make up the coastal nations.
My wife's family are prairie cree nation.

just wanted to share this interesting historical tidbit i just learned from my daughter. I, personally, have no connection to my native family or heritage. That part of my past has been damaged and destroyed to the point where it barely exists.

anyway, i wanted to share this because i can identify with the sense of betrayal and disillusionment and isolation and alienation in his words.


#460154 - 02/05/14 09:58 AM Aboriginal Authors [Re: victor-victim]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 6379
Loc: 𝒪 𝒦anada
  this book was written by one of my uncles.

Many non-aboriginal people think that they know, even before they have listened, what aboriginal people will say. They assume that there is an "aboriginal perspective". Uncle Hank's autobiography reminds us that there is no single or simply aboriginal voice.

Wading fearlessly into issues of race, culture, identity, masculinity, politics, labour, technology, and aging. He writes from his own unique perspective. He writes from experience. Being part of the Sho:lo community while working in a logging industry dominated by non-natives, he had the chance to look at the world from many angles.
What Hank chose to say in this book filled with bitter-sweet memories and humourous reflections, does not fit neatly into any school of thought. His words will surprise, trouble, and delight people of all nations.


 Chiefly Indian:
 The Warm and Witty Story
 of a British Columbia Half Breed Logger
 (West Vancouver: Gray-Donald Graphics, 1972).
 Written by Henry Pennier.
 Edited by Herbert L. McDonald.

 Re-released as:
 Call Me Hank:
 A Stlo Mans Reflections on Logging,
 Living, and Growing Old
 (University of Toronto Press, 2006),
 edited Keith Thor Carlson and Kristina Fagan.




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