Photo Caption: Dancers perform during the annual general assembly of the National Association of Friendship Centres in Lethbridge, Alberta, July 18.
On July 18, the National Association of Friendship Centres held their Annual General Assembly in Lethbridge, Alberta. Glenn Miller, director of the Last Post Fund - Alberta Branch, was in attendance to observe the meeting and to provide information about the Last Post Fund's Indigenous Initiative.
The assembly provides an opportunity for provincial groups to meet and discuss the specific issues affecting Indigenous Nations across Canada. During his attendance, Glenn was able to speak with many different tribe members and Elders, to provide information about the Last Post Fund Funeral & Burial program and also to learn about each community's specific symbolism and burial practices.
Launched earlier this year, the Indigenous Initiative's primary mandate is to work with researchers from Indigenous communities to help identify unmarked graves and to add Indigenous Veterans' traditional names to new and existing grave markers.
Military markers supplied under the Unmarked Grave Program come inscribed by default with a cross above the Veteran's name; when requested, a military crest or applicable religious symbol may be inserted instead. As part of its initiative to commemorate Indigenous Veterans, Last Post Fund offers, upon request, a choice of symbols beyond the religious icons of the major world religions, to reflect Indigenous Veterans' customs and beliefs.
Maria Trujillo, Project Coordinator for the Indigenous Initiative has produced a pamphlet designed to provide information about the initiative in a simple and appealing format. Please contact the Last Post Fund National Office should you wish to receive these new materials, and we will be happy to send them.