Murray Whetung Community Service Award Act, 2020Published on October 21, 2020
Peterborough-Kawartha – Today, Dave Smith, MPP for Peterborough Kawartha put forth an important Private Member’s Bill, which tells the story of how First Nation veterans gave back to their communities after returning from service and uses these stories to inspire our next generation of leaders. The bill establishes an award for Ontario’s cadet corps and squadrons to recognize volunteerism and community service.
As we near Remembrance Day, we must take time to reflect on the incredible sacrifices that Canadian Veterans have made, while also acknowledging the positive contributions through their service to their communities and the values they espoused.
These values are exemplified through the Canadian Cadet Program.
The Murray Whetung Community Service Award Act, 2020 if passed, will provide an award each year to a cadet from the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, the Royal Canadian Army Cadets and the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets who demonstrates exceptional citizenship and volunteerism within their community and their local cadet corps.
Murray Whetung is a Curve Lake First Nation WWII veteran. This bill, if passed, would honour not only his service and contributions to community, but also that of all First Nation Veterans who voluntarily gave years of their lives in service of this county. Mr. Whetung was one of the more than 7000 First Nation men and women who volunteered during the First and Second World Wars. Many of these First Nation members found themselves stripped of their status because they were off reserve for more than four years while fighting for their country overseas. Despite this injustice, many continued to recognize the value in continuously giving back to their community.
With this award, the virtues exemplified by Mr Whetung’s life long contributions will be espoused and promoted through the Cadet Programs.
MPP Smith explains, “Murray Whetung has dedicated his life to giving back to community. Many people aren’t aware that he worked with the DND for years to help support First Nations veterans. He quietly gave his time without looking for praise or notoriety. Serving community because it was the right thing to do.”
- The Canadian Cadet Organizations help develop skills that will help youth transition into adulthood, from good citizenship, leadership, and a focus on physical fitness, Cadets have experiences that you don’t find anywhere else.
- Canadian Cadet Organization encompass over 57 000youth, aged 12-18, supervised and led by over 9000 military and civilian members; supported by their communities, sponsors, the Canadian Armed Forces, and the Navy, Army Cadet and Air Cadet Leagues of Canada.
- Over 3,000 First Nation members, as well as an unknown number of Métis, Inuit and other Indigenous recruits, voluntarily served in uniform during WWII.
- Over 4,000 First Nation members as well as an unknown number of Métis, Inuit and other Indigenous recruits, voluntarily served in uniform during WWI.