On March 24, 2020, WWII Métis Veteran Donald Russell Linklater received thanks from the Métis Nation and a $20,000 Recognition Payment on his 101st birthday at his home in Selkirk, Manitoba. The Recognition Payment is part of the Metis Veterans Recognition Program established in partnership with the Trudeau government to commemorate forgotten Métis soldiers.
At the wishes of his family and adhering to emergency measure protocols surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Métis Nation Minister of Veterans Affairs David Chartrand was not able to personally present the Recognition Payment to Veteran Linklater.
“It was my honour to bear witness to Canada’s apology and expressions of gratitude to our WW II Metis Veterans on September 10, 2019. As part of reconciling with our Metis Veterans, this Recognition Payment is being received by every Surviving WW II Veteran acknowledging the negligent treatment by Canada that affected our Metis Veteran’s successful re-establishment in civilian life.” States Minister Chartrand.
“On behalf of the Metis Nation and our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, it is my great privilege to present Veteran Linklater with a Recognition Payment in the amount of 20,000 on the most auspicious occasion of his 101st birthday. This payment recognizes the great contributions of Veteran Linklater and fellow Metis Brethren in liberating the world of tyranny in WW II. It also acknowledges the injustice they faced upon their return home.”
Donald (Russell) Linklater was born March 24th, 1919 in Cloverdale Manitoba. Russell grew up on the family farm which still stands on the original homestead. After school Russell was hired by Manitoba Rolling Mill. In 1940 he signed up for service in the Air force and worked as a Physical Trainer Instructor until 1945. Russell had two brothers who were in the service as well, James Stuart and Ross Fletcher Linklater.
After his service he returned to Manitoba Rolling Mill. In 1950 Russell married Elaine (Barnard) and they had two children Gary and Linda. Russell retired from the Manitoba Rolling Mill in 1984. Retirement for Russell meant another journey in his active life. A time to enjoy badminton, bowling, baseball, working with the Special Olympics and singing in the choir.