After dedicating nearly 70 years to his country and community, John Kenneth McDonald celebrated his retirement with the Métis Nation of Alberta and the Aboriginal Veterans Society of Alberta on Oct. 19, 2018 at the River Cree Casino.
John has been an outstanding role model for Indigenous youth and a bright example of what tireless dedication can achieve. He and his wife Myrtle leave behind a decade-long legacy at the Canadian Native Friendship Centre’s Bold Eagle program, a summer military/employment program for Indigenous youth. John also served as President of the Korea Veterans Association Unit 21.
Born in 1933 in Neepawa, Manitoba, John began his illustrious career with the Canadian Army in 1950. For almost 40 years, he travelled the world to serve his country, taking on many roles including Gunner, Corporal, Sergeant Major, and Chief Warrant Officer.
In the 1980s he settled in Edmonton, and for the next 17 years worked for the City of Edmonton as a Maintenance Engineering Analyst. In 1989, he retired from the Canadian Armed Forces Militia and nine years later retired from the City of Edmonton.
It wasn’t until age 57 that he discovered his family connection to a long line of Hudson’s Bay Company explorers and traders, and their Swampy Cree wives.
From that time onwards, John has dedicated himself to his community. The community in turn has honored the well-decorated veteran with the Aboriginal Role Model of Alberta for Indigenous Youth award, The Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal, The Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal, The Canadian Special Service Medal, and The Korea “Ambassador Peace” Medal, to name just a few.
The MNA was honoured to be among friends, family, and colleagues to toast John’s retirement from the Aboriginal Veterans Society of Alberta. Many in attendance stood to speak of John’s strong character, passion, and dedication.
The MNA thanks John for his service and contribution to our community and wishes him the best in his retirement.