Chief Warrant Officer Jaime Lefebvre, CD, LLB, (left) with her
father, Richard Lefebvre, CD, (centre), and her son, Royal Canadian
Air Cadet Ethan Lefebvre, at the National War Memorial.Every year on November 11, Métis from across the homeland participate in Remembrance Day Ceremonies. Being part of these ceremonies is very important to Métis because we have contributed to the defense of Canada as far back as the War of 1812 as well as both World Wars, the Korean Conflict, peacekeeping missions and most recently, Afghanistan. Over the years, many Métis have served and many have made the ultimate sacrifice. By making the Métis presence felt at Remembrance Day services, we show our respect for all Veterans and we remind all Canadians of Métis service and sacrifices.
Since 2004, the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) has laid a wreath at the National War Memorial in Ottawa during National Remembrance Day ceremonies. This year, Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) Jaime Lefebvre, CD, LLB, was asked to lay the wreath. Jaime requested the presence of her father, Richard Lefebvre, CD, who also served in the military and retired as a Master Warrant Officer, and her son Ethan.
While Ethan is in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, he plans to follow in the footsteps of his mother and grandfather, both of whom are MNO citizens, and join the army.
“I feel very proud of them, and really thankful they did that for our family and our country,” he said.
As the three of them stood together after laying the wreath, they all saluted the National War Memorial in unison, their Métis sashes bright against the dark green or grey of their uniforms. These days, Métis can proudly wear their sashes to identify their heritage.
“I think I’m very honoured and proud that the Canadian Armed Forces sat a committee so we could actually wear our Métis sash with our uniform,” Jaime shared in an interview.
“They put a lot of thought and consulted Métis elders on the process and made a decision about how the sash would be worn. They didn’t want to have two different standards. Instead of having the female way and the male way, we have the soldier’s way: around the waist and with the knot on the left side. It won’t be confused with the red sash, which is what our combat arms wear to represent the Queen’s scarf and the blood that was shed in the battlefield by a lot of the infantry.”
After the ceremony at the National War Memorial, father, daughter and grandson walked over to the National Aboriginal Veterans Memorial on Elgin Street. Jaime placed a poppy on the memorial and the three of them saluted.
“It’s an honour to be here, remembering the ones who gave their lives,” Richard said.
Together, Richard, Jaime and Ethan, three generations of Métis, continued a Remembrance Day tradition that will keep this vital and honoured ceremony alive.