On the evening of Friday 25 January, Major Nils French and Sergeant Derek Shiell of 39 Combat Engineer Regiment (39 CER) attended the inauguration ceremony of Chief Jason Louie, a former member of the unit. Major French was honoured to guide both Chief Louie and Councillor Sandra Luke through the oath of office during the ceremony, which was held in a traditional roundhouse on the territory of the Lower Kootenay Band in the Creston Valley.
Chief Louie, who was elected to his third term as Chief of the band, proudly gives credit to his military experience for playing a part in his success over the years. Chief Louie has many fond memories of his time with the 39 CER as part of the 44th Engineer Squadron in Trail and having the regiment play a part in the ceremony held great meaning for him personally. Major French and Sergeant Shiell greatly appreciated the opportunity to be involved in the occasion and to experience some of the culture of the Ktunaxa Nation.
The Lower Kootenay Band, or Yaqan Nukiy, is one of several bands of the Ktunaxa Nation that extend across the reserve recruiting area served by 44 Engineer Squadron, which now has an armoury in Cranbrook. Major French and Chief Louie look forward to working together to ensure that the many opportunities the Canadian Armed Forces provide are available to the youth of the Ktunaxa Nation so that this proud history of service may continue in the years to come.Submitted by 39 CER Museum 28 Jan 19