A Métis man was honoured in his Regina home for his service during the Second World War.
At the age of 19, Samuel McKay joined the army and did his basic training in Maple Creek, Sask.
“I was in Shilo, Man., for my advanced training. That’s where I got my honourable discharge (due to health problems). And then I was self-employed after that for the rest of my life,” McKay said.
The Métis Nation’s Minister of Veterans Affairs David Chartrand was on hand at the ceremony on Tuesday and stressed how important it was to have found McKay in time.
“All citizens that joined the military, men and women, we’re searching for desperately. We’ve only found 18… That’s all. The rest are probably gone. We’re still searching,” Chartrand said.
“I’m happy (McKay) called… and I’m very pleased to be here to honour you.”
The ceremony included the presentation of $20,000, tax-free, to McKay under the terms of the $30-million Canada-Métis Nation Métis Veterans Recognition Payment Agreement.
“We want to thank you for being brave enough as a kid to go put your name there and willing to go overseas… and willing to go there and defend said people you did not know, a country that didn’t really treat you right and so we believe that the settlement we’ve achieved today will at least give you some sense of getting, not even, but just getting to a point of fairness,” Chartrand said.
“What we’re trying to do now is correct the wrong.”
McKay accepted the cheque and is still cracking jokes in his mid-90s.
“It won’t bounce, hey?” he said jokingly.
The Métis veteran, who was born and raised in Regina Beach, said it felt very good to receive the money and shared his plans for it.
“Going to fix (my) deck,” McKay said.
“The rest, the grandchildren will be involved.”