MNO Veterans Receive Medals (Left to right) MNOVC President Joseph Paquette, Senator Alis Kennedy and
NAVA Vice-president Robert Thibeau

2012 marks the last Black Bear Aboriginal Culture Camp at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden. The program is moving to Gagetown, New Brunswick next year. The Black Bear Program was developed to help prepare Aboriginal young people for the Canadian Armed Forces and was instituted four years ago at CFB Borden, Ontario. It was meant to be an extension of the Raven Program in BC and the Bold Eagle Program in Alberta, and for the past several years it has exceeded expectations.

A total of 64 participants registered for the most recent Black Bear Program held from July 10 to July 14, 2012 at CFB Borden. This camp was special, because it will be the last one in Ontario and because two Métis veterans received Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medals at the camp. Dr. Alis Kennedy CD, a veteran with the Métis Nation of Ontario Veterans’ Council (MNOVC), the National Aboriginal Veterans Association (NAVA) and Senator for the MNO Toronto and York Region Métis Council, and Joseph Paquette, President of the MNOVC, a citizen of the MNO Credit River Métis Council and member of the National Aboriginal Veterans Association, both received the Medal from NAVA Vice-president, Robert Thibeau CD, in recognition for their contributions to NAVA.

“It sure has been exciting working with the Aboriginal Youth from across Canada for the past three years,” said Joe Paquette. “Good luck to all of you. I will sure miss them all.”