Today's hybrid meeting at the Bartley Centre, Lakehead University, featured a strong presentation on Indigenous contributions in the conflicts we are remembering, on and around November 11th.
President Brian Walmark welcomed all and had the pleasure of securing and introducing our guest speaker on Indigenous Veterans Day.

David Thompson is a teacher, researcher and writer who has worked extensively to raise public awareness about the role of Native Veterans in Canada's wars. David is a graduate of Lakehead University, from Rocky Bay First Nation (Lake Nipigon), with extensive knowledge of Indigenous history in northwestern Ontario.  As a young university student, David worked and mentored with Willy John, a Native Veteran, who together identified and recorded the stories of every Indigenous Veteran in Northwestern Ontario who served in World War One, World War Two and the Korean Conflict. He and Willy proudly took part in the November 1988 founding of the Native Veterans Association of Northwestern Ontario.

Today, David spoke very eloquently and very candidly on the role of  Anishinabek veterans, with particular emphasis on the work of Willy John, to ensure that these veterans received the benefits that they earned through their sacrifice and service to this country and the proper recognition that they deserve. The team of David and Willy John, as his mentor, has formed the basis of strong advocacy for Indigenous Veterans, who as David put it, stepped up overseas to "protect the land" (in Canada) on  behalf of the crown (the Queen), in these conflicts, only to return home and face the stark reality of discrimination in a myriad of ways.

This disenfranchisement simply had to be redressed. The story telling prowess of Willy John and thus David Thompson was an especially powerful tool in today's address, the topic being yet another important reconciliation issue.

David is pictured following his address. A shot of Willy John (Shingosibi or Sitting Weasel) is included.

David was thanked most sincerely by Past President Rod Morrison. Meegwitch David.



1. Rotary Family Radio Day: the new platform is being inaugurated today. It is streamlined, and paperless, with helpful innovations improving our chances for success. All members are encouraged to study the new website (with thanks to Sencia as well!) and prepare for a successful campaign. Dougall Media (with member Hector Dougall at the helm) is again our heart beat (for the 57 th year: Matt Villella, Krysta Logozzo Daniele).
2. The Santa Claus Parade is coming soon, November 19th. Member assignments are being finalized. Econolodge again will be the home base. Rotary toques are available at $10 a piece (Jim Madder, Kevin Holloway)
3. PA  and Canada Club events upcoming; both very exciting: Man of La Mancha at Magnus Theatre (matinee on November 27th with reception following); and Rotary Christmas at the Courthouse, December 10th, promising a memorable and novel experience. Members are encouraged to book their tickets asap (Shelley Crawford).
4. Salvation Army Kettles: December 3rd and 10th, a few slots need to be filled (Bob Tomlinson).
5. Our exchange student, Fern, requests members to include her in a multitude of potential activities. As well there is still a requirement for one, maybe 2 additional host families to step up in the new year. (John Stephenson and Marg Woods).