Watch above: Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations powwow honours veterans
SASKATOON – During its annual powwow, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) celebrated aboriginal veterans Saturday and all they’ve sacrificed for Canada.
Ray Sanderson says he was sent overseas during the Cold War at age 17 and he was forced to grow up quickly in the military.
“Especially during the Cuban Missile Crisis, things were just getting really … a dangerous time, a super dangerous time. And I was there and it scared us,” said Sanderson, Saskatchewan First Nations Veterans Association grand chief.
On Saturday, Sanderson and over 15 other veterans were honoured at SaskTel Centre during the “Spirit of our Nations” powwow.
“These are the people who represent our organization in a very big way. They have paid the ultimate price for our people,” said Heather Bear, FSIN vice chief.
Hosted by the FSIN, the powwow brings together First Nations from across North America.
During the grand entry, a flag song was held in remembrance of veterans who’ve lost their lives.
“A lot of our veterans from the First and Second World War – we have a lot of them that are buried overseas, that made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Sanderson.
Powwow participants say the gathering conveys an important message about strength and unity.
“It’s just a great experience all around. Not only the dancers, but everybody up in the crowd,” said one supporter.
FSIN says they plan to celebrate aboriginal veterans at the powwow for years to come.