Many survivors of the First World War returned to Southern Alberta at places like the Ogden Convalescent Hospital and the Ponoka Asylum. They bore the scars of service and began the long process of recovering from, or learning to live with, their physical and mental war wounds. Indigenous veterans like Joe Mountain Horse (Kainai) and Nap Provost (Piikani) suffered the lingering pain and disability of military service for the rest of their lives. While commemoration of the dead has long been central to memorialization of the First World War, the examination of some of the over 20,000 wounded soldiers from Alberta gives us an important perspective on the lived experience of global conflict.
This event’s speaker is Dr. Will Pratt, a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council post-doctoral fellow at the University of Alberta, who studies the impact of the world wars on Treaty 7 First Nations. He has published articles on the history of military psychiatry and leadership as well as Native-newcomer relations. His forthcoming UBC Press volume, co-edited with Steve Marti, is entitled Fighting With the Empire: Canada, Britain and Global Conflict, 1867-1947.