“We pause today to honour the men and women who, 76 years ago, became the first Canadian Army unit to engage in combat in the Second World War. In October, 1941, Canada agreed to send almost 2,000 volunteers of the Royal Rifles of Canada and the Winnipeg Grenadiers to help protect the British Crown colony of Hong Kong. Expecting little more than garrison duty, Canadian soldiers fought bravely against the overwhelming power of an invading Japanese force from December 8th to the 25th.”
“Sadly, 290 Canadian soldiers were killed and 493 were wounded during battle, having resisted fiercely and courageously before being ordered to surrender. Many Canadian survivors were made prisoners of war. Over three years of captivity, they would experience being starved and used as slave labour, resulting in the death of another 264 Canadians.”
“To all Métis Veterans like Private Ferdinand Poitras, a member of “C” Force, we honour your legacy and the legacy of all Métis Veterans who served to end the Second World War. Because you are of Métis Nation, I know you were the first soldiers to become involved in combat and the last to come home. Your tremendous sacrifice and bravery are a testament to your spirit and the spirit of the Métis Nation. Your contributions have led to peace and freedom around the globe—enjoyed by every Métis Citizen across the Homeland.”
“Today is about paying our respects to all who served and sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom. Métis Veterans are truly our heroes, and they will forever be in the thoughts and prayers of our Nation.”
“Our Heroes Today, Tomorrow, and Forever”
Minister Responsible for Veterans
Métis National Council
Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.
The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is the democratic government for the Manitoba Métis, also known as the Red River Métis, the origin and core of the Métis Nation. The Manitoba Métis are Canada’s Negotiating Partners in Confederation and the Founders of the Province of Manitoba.
For more information, media may contact:
Media Relations Advisor
Manitoba Metis Federation