Abegweit cemetery to include memorial for those lost at war, residential schools

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Work on a cemetery at Abegweit First Nation is underway and will include a monument honouring veterans buried overseas and those who never returned from residential schools.

"We're going to erect a monument to honour all those fallen soldiers and fallen children and bring them back home," said Chief Junior Gould.

The memorial will not only stand as a permanent way to remember the fallen but also remind future generations of lessons learned in the past.

"To me, that's the historical significance of your culture and your identity as to who you are," he said.

"We've taken the role of responsibility as elder and leadership in the community to secure our history and our tradition and culture for the next seven generations."

John Robertson/CBC
John Robertson/CBC

There are also plans to include a garden and gazebo at the cemetery.

So far, no timeline has been announced for the monument.

Aboriginal Veterans Day

On Monday, the community held its annual service for Aboriginal Veterans Day which takes place Nov. 8.

John Robertson/CBC
John Robertson/CBC

"I think a lot of First Nation members who have joined the service went above and beyond their duty as Canadians," Gould said.

"I think that that has to be acknowledged and set aside."

According to Veterans Affairs Canada, 12,000 Indigenous soldiers fought in the world wars and Korea.

This was the third time the community hosted the special ceremony for Mi'kmaq Islanders who served for Canada.

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