Tough talk: Advocates mince no words delivering inclusion message to Legionnaires

An item from the Legion Magazine.

Front Lines
Front Lines

Stephen J. Thorne

Tough talk: Advocates mince no words delivering inclusion message to Legionnaires


Addressing a longstanding bugaboo of one of the country’s most revered institutions head-on, a former regional president of The Royal Canadian Legion delivered a firm message to its grassroots membership in May.

Marion Fryday-Cook was Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command president from 2019 through 2021. She’s now a member of the Legion’s national committee on equity, diversity and inclusion. She didn’t mince words when presenting a report on the organization’s draft plan to address what some consider the Legion’s single-biggest challenge.

“We’re moving into a new world,” Fryday-Cook said before an all-white convention audience in Sydney, N.S. “Somebody once said, we’re all volunteers and the Legion sometimes tends to eat its own and go after its own.


Wine mug- What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
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Military Milestones
Military Milestones

CAF Image Gallery

The master lens of Darrell Jason Priede


“Like I say, only the good die young,” Roxanne Priede of Grand Forks, B.C., tells The Globe and Mail.

Roxanne is the mother of Master Corporal Darrell Jason Priede, a military photographer who stole the hearts of his family, friends and fellow military personnel with his quiet voice, fantastic listening skills and photographs that left the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Regional Command spellbound.

“[His photography] was definitely more than a job…his pictures were top-notch,” said Lieutenant Brian Owens, public affairs officer at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown to The Toronto Star.


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Want to Participate in the Online Commemoration Day Service?

The Commemoration Day Virtual Service began during the first year of the pandemic.  Everything had been shut down, including all of the activities of Royal Canadian Legion US Branch #25.  When the closure began in March our members watched as the annual inspection of our local division of sea cadets cancelled. Then March became April, and then May – and the annual ANZAC Day events and our US Memorial Day service were both cancelled.  By June, the branch had cancelled its third monthly membership meetings, and planning to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations charter, which occurred in San Francisco, was postponed indefinitely.

Around that time a Canadian ex-pat organization called the Digital Moose Lounge contacted us to see if the branch wanted to participate in the virtual Canada Day celebration that they were planning.  One of our executive at the time was a native Newfoundlander, and we saw an opportunity.  As Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are aware, in addition to being Canada Day, July 1st is also Memorial Day or Commemoration Day in the province – a day when we remember the tragic events of the Battle of Beaumont Hamel. To honour that tradition, and as a way to begin to engage both the members of our branch and our local cadets again, we sought to create a virtual sunrise service for Commemoration Day.

The tradition of this virtual service continues as a way to engage our members who are not local to the Bay Area.  Branch 25 is in the process of planning its annual Commemoration Day virtual service.  The virtual service will feature individual videos combined into a single virtual service.  As such, we are asking our members to submit three videos for inclusion in the service:

  • a video where you say “Lest we forget”
  • a video where you say “We will remember them”
  • a video where you say “Happy Canada Day”

You do not need special equipment to record these videos.  A cell phone or tablet video is fine.  We just ask that videos be taken in landscape format, not in portrait.

If possible, dress in their Legion uniform.  However, any formal attire is appropriate (e.g., what you might wear to a Remembrance Day service at your local cenotaph).

Videos can be uploaded to

An important announcement from Director Bloemraad on program leadership

An item from a fellow Canadian organization in the Bay Area.  The Branch congratulates Director Bloemraad on her 10 years of leadership.  She and her team have been wonderful partners with the Royal Canadian Legion.  We also look forward to working with interim Director Rhodes.

Canadian Studies Announcements

In This Issue:

Program News

  • An important update on program leadership

News from Canada

  • Former Sproul Fellow Heather Hudson advocates for internet connectivity in Canada’s far north

External Events

  • Université de Montréal Alumni Cocktail Reception
  • The Lost Faculties: Rocking the Centennial!
  • Friends of Canada at SF Pride
  • Digital Moose Lounge Canada Day Picnic

A Message from Director Bloemraad

To our dear Canadian Studies community:

It is with mixed emotions that I am writing to inform you of the impending end of my term as director of the Canadian Studies Program, effective July 1.

After ten years directing the program, it is strange to step back from this position, which has occupied so much of my energies and been such an important place of community. Nevertheless, I believe it is time to pass the baton. New leadership will help us bring new perspectives to Canadian Studies, and help us grow in exciting and unexpected ways.

I am thus delighted to announce that my longtime co-director, Professor Richard A. Rhodes, has agreed to succeed me as the program’s interim director. Professor Rhodes is a professor emeritus of linguistics, specializing in North American Indigenous languages. He received his Ph.D. in from the University of Michigan, where he also taught for ten years. He joined the faculty at UC Berkeley in 1986, and taught in the Department of Linguistics until his recent retirement.

Rich has been involved with Canadian Studies since its early days, and has been a great support during my tenure as director, including running the program while I was on sabbatical in 2016-17. He brings significant experience in campus administration to his

new role, having served as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies in the College of Letters & Science for many years. I believe that he will provide important continuity as we search for a new permanent director, and I feel very confident leaving the program in his capable hands.

It has been an absolute privilege to serve as director of Canadian Studies for the last decade. I’m proud to say that I’m ending my term knowing that this program is not only a national leader in our field, but also poised for additional growth. And, of course, I will continue to stay engaged with the program, so I have no doubt that we will see each other again soon!


Irene Bloemraad

Program Director

Thomas G. Barnes Chair in Canadian Studies


Former Sproul Fellow Heather Hudson Advocates for Internet Connectivity in Canada’s Far North

Former Canadian Studies Sproul Fellow Dr. Heather Hudson was recently in Canada, where she testified at a government hearing on the urgent need to improve internet options for communities in Canada’s far north.

The hearing, which was held in late April in Whitehorse, Yukon, was organized by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Dr. Hudson, who has conducted extensive communications policy research in Alaska and northern Canada, testified alongside representatives of the First Mile Connectivity Consortium (FMCC), a national organization of Indigenous internet service providers.

Dr. Hudson and the FMCC addressed how the present territorial internet monopoly fails to meet the needs of the region’s inhabitants, which are largely First Nations communities. Locals face higher prices and slower service than southern provinces, which puts them at a major economic and social disadvantage. Excessive costs and poor service mean people often cannot access essential services such as banking, education, or healthcare, for which an internet connection is now almost essential.

These expert witnesses stressed that future development of these regions will rely on developing affordable, reliable broadband. Dr. Hudson provided support to FMCC representatives’ claims that smaller companies could feasibly and cheaply service large, remote areas. Together, they advocated that Indigenous-led service providers would be well-positioned to compete with the incumbent service providers, and urged the CRTC to reform regulatory barriers that inhibit competition from small companies.


Université de Montréal Alumni Cocktail Reception

May 31/June 1 | San Francisco & Los Angeles, CA | RSVP

The Université de Montréal invites its California alumni to network with fellow alumni and UdeM senior leadership over cocktails at two special receptions. University rector Daniel Jutras will be in attendance, as will Michael Pecho, vice-rector for alumni relations and philanthropy. Attendance is free, but registration is required and limited to university alumni.

The San Francisco reception will be hosted by Wilson Sonsini (One Market Plaza Spear Tower, 19th Floor), at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, May 31.

For Los Angeles-based alumni, a second reception will take place at 6:30 pm on Thursday, June 1 at the official residence of the government of Quebec in Beverly Hills.

The Lost Faculties: Rocking the Centennial!

Monday, June 5 | 7:30 pm | Berkeley, CA | RSVP

The UC Berkeley School of Optometry invites you to an evening of music and dancing in celebration of the school’s 100th anniversary, featuring the Canadian band the Lost Faculties! Founded in 2000, the band recruits its members from current and former staff of the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry and Vision Science. Performers will include Berkeley Optometry dean (and Canadian Studies affiliate) John Flanagan on bass guitar!

The Lost Faculties play a mixture of classic and contemporary rock and R&B, including Canadian icons like the Tragically Hip and Tom Cochrane. They have performed at student and professional events and fundraisers across the US and Canada.

The event will take place at Cornerstone Berkeley. Admission is free, but guests are requested to confirm their attendance via the link above.

Friends of Canada at SF Pride

Sun., June 25 | 4:00 pm | San Francisco, CA | RSVP

Consul General of Canada Rana Sarkar cordially invites you to join Canadians marching in the 2023 San Francisco Pride Parade! The theme of this year’s parade is “Looking Back and Moving Forward.”

All are welcome to join the Consulate group on Sunday, June 25th with their families and friends to celebrate diversity and to support the LGBTQ2+ members of our communities here in San Francisco, at home in Canada, and abroad. The exact assembly location and time will be announced approximately one week prior to the parade. Please register via the link above to receive updates.

Digital Moose Lounge Canada Day Picnic

Sat., July 1 | 11:30 am | Woodside, CA | Buy tickets

Celebrate Canada’s 156th birthday with your fellow Bay Area Canadians at the Digital Moose Lounge’s ever-popular Canada Day Picnic. Enjoy an afternoon under the redwoods, with fun activities & games to keep kids and adults alike entertained. Meet new friends and reconnect with old ones as we embrace our heritage and celebrate with patriotic pride.

Tickets are expected to sell out, so get your early!

Canadian Studies Program

213 Philosophy Hall #2308


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Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley213 Philosophy Hall #2308Berkeley, CA 94720

Canada Day Picnic July 1st TICKETS

A upcoming event from one of our fellow Canadian organizations in the Bay Area.

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Branch Participation Through The ANAVETS Unit #19 (Mexico) in Chapala Memorial Day Service

Several of our members are based in Mexico and, in addition to being members of our branch, they are also members of the Army, Navy and Air Force Association in Canada (ANAVETS) – Unit #19 (Mexico).

The ANAVETS Mexico chapter was requested to assist as the working staff for a Memorial Day event by the President of the American Legion is Post #7 (Chapala). Several Canadian veterans, including branch member Larry Wooley, had the privilege to plant flags and flowers on graves of American veterans at the Chapala City Cemetery. Comrade Wooley also served as the Sergeant-at-Arms in the flag party for the event that was associated with the commemoration earlier today. Pictured below are two of the Canadian veterans placing these items (including Comrade Wooley in his Sgt-at-Arms hat).