Debates of the Senate  
3rd Session, 40th Parliament,Volume 147, Issue 67.
  Thursday, November 18, 2010
 
The Late Howard Anderson
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 grandchildren.

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.