On Friday, more than 3,000 people marched peacefully in Mississauga, Ont., to call for the Canadian flag to be reinstated at Canadian military ceremonies. The group lost their membership with the Royal Canadian Legion because they refused to kneel for the anthem in support of Indigenous people. The queen, prime minister, legislature and chief minister also chipped in to the $100,000 legal costs for a costly court battle.
Canadian veterans and local leaders are working together on legislation that would bring back the Canadian flag to military ceremonies. The legislation currently in review has been vetted by representatives from Grand Chief Tim George of the Malahat First Nation and Simon Fraser University Prof. Solomon Friedman. The aim is to “bring in that positive element to the flags of other communities and what they represent, as opposed to the negative values that came through the flag controversy of the last 10 years,” President John Wooster of the Canadian Alliance of Veterans Veterans Organizations, said.
For more than 30 years, native Canadians wore the red, white and blue in hopes of changing the government’s policies that offended their culture and mistreated them. The royal commission on Aboriginal Peoples report released in 2010 examined the problem of landlessness, discrimination and “emasculation” of First Nations people that marginalized them in Canadian society and spurred protests against Canadian policies. In 2013, the Cree, Anishinaabe and Metis elders called for the flag to be removed for “the sake of our children and grandchildren.”
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