Five servicemen involved in incident at Indigenous ceremony
The military says five men involved in a filmed confrontation at an Indigenous ceremony in Halifax are members of the Canadian Armed Forces, and any misconduct will be addressed.
The men approached a spiritual event honouring the suffering of Indigenous Peoples on Canada Day, at a statue of Halifax’s controversial founder, Edward Cornwallis.
The group of men were clad in black polo shirts with yellow piping — one of them carrying a Red Ensign Flag — as they approached singing “God Save the Queen,” according to one Mi’kmaq organizer. The Canadian Red Ensign, which bears the Union Jack in the corner, was the national flag until it was replaced by the Maple Leaf design in 1965.
National Defence spokesman Daniel LeBouthillier confirmed Tuesday that five Forces members were involved in the incident, at least two of whom belong to the Navy.
Commanders of the Canadian Army and Navy released a joint statement Tuesday saying that the chain of command “takes action” when a member’s conduct is not in keeping with military code.
“The actions of a few do not reflect the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Army commitment to being inclusive and diverse organizations,” ViceAdmiral Ron Lloyd and Lt.-Gen. Paul Wynnyk said in a Facebook post.
“Unfortunately, some of our sailors and soldiers have not ... made the necessary mind shift that leads to deep institutional change.”