ALOY Ottawa Trip –
By: OCdt. Stranks
It was an early day for ALOY on Friday 29 January 2016. After packing a bag and having a full room inspection at 0630, ALOY cadets and staff quickly grabbed breakfast in the CDH before heading to the vans. A 2-hour trip had them at the National War Museum in Ottawa. Some of the ALOY members had been to the museum before, but for many of them, this was their first time.
ALOY was privileged to be invited down into the vaults below the museum by the curators to look at the wartime artwork and military kit collections. Rack upon rack of priceless pieces of art were made available for ALOY to peruse. Beyond the hundreds and hundreds of uniforms and weapons military kit vault included a few items that were given to First Nations people by the British Government in the 18th and 19th centuries as a token of their allegiance.
The main tour of the museum was very engaging as well, especially the LeBreton Gallery of military technology, which included several WW2 tanks and vehicles.
After ALOY’s tour of the National War Museum, they went with their Elder, Bernard Nelson, to the Assembly of First Nations headquarters in Ottawa to learn more about the organization and to look at making connections for future opportunities.
Assembly of First Nations (AFN) offices and photo National Chief of the Dene Nation, Chief Bill Erasmus. Standing between NCdt General and ALOY OCdt Boulette.
In the evening, ALOY cadets enjoyed a dinner in town and some of the festivities of Winterlude before staying overnight in Ottawa.
Saturday morning, the course was taken on a tour of the Parliament buildings. The architecture, artwork, and history of Parliament Hill was interesting and engaging. While the group wasn’t able to meet any notable government personalities, they were present for the turning of the page ceremony in the Memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower. This Chamber is a room with several books opened, listing those who have fallen in battle throughout Canada’s history.
ALOY also had the opportunity to visit the Aboriginal council chamber in the basement of the Parliament Buildings. They were not able to meet anyone there, but taken aback by the collection of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis artwork.
The trip was very beneficial to the ALOY members, giving them an appreciation of those who have come before them in the Canadian Forces, letting them see where our government meets and decisions are made for all of us, and allowing them some time to be refreshed.