Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck: Honourable senators, I rise
today to pay tribute to Mr. Howard Anderson, a veteran of
World War II and an Aboriginal veterans activist, who passed
away on Friday, November 12, 2010. I attended his funeral on
Tuesday this week. It was a moving ceremony combining
military, Christian and Cree traditions. Hundreds came to
pay their respects to Mr. Anderson, who was the last
surviving World War II veteran from the Gordon First Nation.
Mr. Anderson was only a young 16-year-old when he signed up
to fight in World War II. He fought alongside his fellow
Canadians with courage and love of country. Upon returning
to Canada, Mr. Anderson led the fight for just compensation
to First Nations veterans over the past 50 years. Through
his position as Grand Chief of the Saskatchewan First
Nations Veterans Association, Mr. Anderson brought the issue
of veterans' compensation to the forefront of the federal
government in 2000. His passion and dedication to correcting
the wrongs of the past moved the Government of Canada to
establish the Veterans Compensation Package of 2002,
awarding $20,000 to eligible First Nations veterans who
faced discrimination upon return from war. This was not a
completely fair settlement, so Mr. Anderson continued to
lead the fight for equal compensation for First Nations
veterans. Over the past year, I was honoured to be working
with him in his noble pursuit. His passion for educating us
all on the contributions of First Nations veterans and
soldiers was motivating, and he will be deeply missed.
Mr. Anderson had a lovely sense of humour. He said that
when they found out the war had ended, they celebrated, they
celebrated, and they celebrated. He is said to have charmed
everyone that he met, myself included.
Howard Anderson also had a love of sports and was very
active in minor sports throughout his life. He was awarded
the Tom Longboat Award for his efforts for excellence in
contribution to Aboriginal sports.
It is fitting that the day before his passing he combined
these two passions. During the day, he attended the
Remembrance Day ceremony on Gordon First Nation reserve and
in the evening, he attended the Regina Pats First Nations
and Metis Awareness Night.
Howard leaves behind his loving wife, Denise Anderson,
his 12 children, 26 grandchildren and 28 great
I am truly saddened that he did not live long enough to
see his dream of fair compensation for Aboriginal veterans
come true. However, we will not forget. We will remember
Howard and continue his work on behalf of Aboriginal
veterans. His spirit lives on.