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Governor General to take part in the Aboriginal spiritual journey in France

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October 27, 2005

OTTAWA –– As part of the events commemorating the Year of the Veteran, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, will take part in the Aboriginal spiritual journey to France, on October 29 and 30, 2005.

At the request of the Canadian government, The Governor General will participate in a number of commemorative events in France which will honour First Nations, Métis and Inuit Canadian veterans. Participants in this journey will gather to honour a very unique group of people who served their nation so valiantly in times of war and in times of peace.

The Governor General of Canada, along with Spiritual Elders, Aboriginal Veterans of the Second World War and Aboriginal youth, will visit a number of commemorative sites related to the World War I and World War II, including Juno Beach in Normandy.

The detailed itinerary is attached. (The schedule is subject to change)


Media Information
Rideau Hall Press Office
Eric Richer
Media relations
(613) 998-7280

Vererans Affairs Canada
Janice Summerby
Media Relations Advisor
(902) 626-1398

Visit to France, October 29 and 30, 2005

October 29

5:00 p.m. Visit of the Juno Beach Centre and Meeting with the Aboriginal Youth Delegation
Juno Beach Centre, Courseulles-sur-Mer

8:30 p.m. Informal Dinner with the Aboriginal Veterans
Hotel Amirauté,Touques

October 30

10:00 a.m. Remembrance Ceremony at Canadian War Cemetery (The Governor General will offer short remarks and will participate in a wreath laying ceremony in remembrance of those who fell during the D-Day landings and subsequent days in the earlier stages of the Normandy campaign.)
Canadian War Cemetery, Bény-sur-Mer

2:00 p.m. Unveiling of an Inuksuk (The Governor General will attend the unveiling of a “Messenger Inuksuk” created by Peter Irniq, former Nunavut Commissioner and Spiritual Elder. The “Messenger Inuksuk” will remain as a permanent marker of the Aboriginal Spiritual Journey and will commemorate the fallen warriors, joining past with present, Canada with Europe, young with old.)
Juno Beach Centre, Courseulles-sur-Mer

4:00 p.m. Opening of an exhibit in the Juno Beach Centre (The Governor General will offer short remarks and participate in the ribbon cutting to mark the opening of the Aboriginal Art exhibit.)
Juno Beach Centre, Courseulles-sur-Mer