2013 Remembrance Day ceremony

Veteran and MNO Registrar Jane Brennan with her husband Veteran Steve
Mackenzie at the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument.

Every year the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) has participated in the national Remembrance Day ceremonies in Ottawa by laying a wreath at the National Cenotaph on behalf of all MNO citizens. Being part of these ceremonies is very important as Métis people have contributed to the defense of Canada as far back as the War of 1812.

For more than a decade MNO Senator Reta Gordon and MNO Veteran Shaun Redmond have performed this important gesture on behalf of the MNO. This has always been meaningful to them as Redmond is a veteran himself and Senator Gordon’s family has deep military ties; with her father and five brothers all having served in the Armed Forces. Unfortunately this year Senator Gordon injured her foot and cannot lay the wreath as it would require prolonged standing and Shaun Redmond is out of the country.

Standing in for Senator Gordon and Redmond at this year’s ceremony is veteran and MNO Registrar Jane Brennan and her husband, Veteran Steve Mackenzie. Registrar Brennan has had a distinguished record of military service and is well known to MNO veterans for her interest and support of their projects.

“The Métis veterans I know have served with dignity and courage that are a source of pride to their families,” explained Registrar Brennan. “You can see this in the support and respect given to them.”

“Remembrance Day is important because for veterans it is a time to reflect, remember and honour those that didn’t return with them,” she continued. “For everyone else it is not only the opportunity to reflect, remember and honour those that didn’t return but also a chance to learn and understand the history of what occurred.”

Registrar Brennan has done many tours as a Peace Keeper and comes from a military family. Her father served in World War II and in Korea and her son, who is currently in the Armed Forces, did a tour in Afghanistan. She has never missed a Remembrance Day ceremony and has always supported Métis veterans.

“Attending the Remembrance Day ceremonies and laying a wreath is a form of respect. It is a way of saying that we haven’t forgotten the service and sacrifice that goes hand in hand with serving and I feel honoured to be given this privilege.”