“What Crime Did I Commit Showing Up With My Flag?” Onkwehon:we Veteran Arrested at Toronto Remembrance Day Ceremony


TORONTO, ON – Social media lit up with outrage this afternoon with video of an Onkwehon:we War Veteran, Davyn Calfchild, being arrested at a public Toronto Remembrance Day Ceremony. The video showed Davyn refusing to put away two traditional flags – the Hiawatha and the Unity Flag – and refusing to leave the public ceremony at the request of Toronto Police.

Davyn, who served in the Former Yugoslavia from 1992 – 1997, repeatedly tells the officer that he is a War Veteran and is defiant and adamant about his right to be at the ceremony. As the officer continues to make the ask to put away the flags and or leave – Davyn responds, “This is supposed to be for us – so fuck off!” The officer then moves to arrest and remove both Davyn and two friends with him – one of whom was videotaping the incident.

The flags were all confiscated and the men were held by the Police until the end of the ceremony and then released without ticket or charge.

Davyn has been a vocal critic of the Toronto Police, including their role in the shooting death of Toronto Youth Sammy Yatim, and has been assaulted previously by the Toronto Police in response to his advocacy.

Davyn relayed that the men had been at the ceremony for just a few minutes before they were approached by Toronto Police. He also said that the men went out of their way to let the Police know that he was there as a War Veteran and that their presence was in no way to protest or disrupt the event.

To those looking to support Davyn, Onkwehon:we women in Toronto are organizing to go down to 52 Division ( 255 Dundas St. W.) in Toronto tomorrow at 3pm to demand a return of the flags and also to hold the Toronto Police accountable for this incident. Food Not Bombs Toronto will also be serving food at the demonstration.

After the incident Davyn was most shocked by the complete lack of response from those in the crowd at the ceremony, many who could be seen looking on, “My message is that this is nothing new. We saved them in numerous wars. It goes to show that white people want all of our glory and don’t want the truth. Their flags are all there – but ours are not. I go down there to show solidarity and let people know that we were in those wars and that our flags should be there. What crime did I commit showing up with that flag? They always feel threatened.

Everyone says that they respect the veterans – even when I was yelling out that I was a war veteran – no one said anything. They all say they support the veterans. They want to wear poppies and talk about sacrifice – but they can’t speak up?

I served in the Former Yugoslavia. I would not want people to witness that. I think it’s great that it is supposed to be for us. I just want those white people to realize that not only is this our territory, but we want our flags to be equally represented. Why are our flags never there. Why can’t they be there?”

@dylanxpowell / dylanjamespowell@gmail.com

Video taken of the incident by Toronto activist Miguel 


92 responses to ““What Crime Did I Commit Showing Up With My Flag?” Onkwehon:we Veteran Arrested at Toronto Remembrance Day Ceremony

  1. I was shocked when I read this story, and as I sat and thought about it, sadly, I was not surprised. What does that say?, when the mistreatment of another of our Native People has become so common place that an entire assembly of people stand by silently while a great injustice is committed! The moment that flag was shown, flown and held proudly there should have been respect to follow, appreciation and gratitude, A COP SHOULD HAVE SAID THANK YOU SIR, SOMEONE, ANYONE IN THAT CROWD SHOULD HAVE SAID THANK YOU SIR, and that crowd that was there to show their “respect” for our fallen, our brave, our unknown and lost, to every person who put themselves in harms way so that we can live as we do, misbehave as we do..stood by “idle” while such an atrocity was carried out against one who put himself between harm and us? My heavens I am ashamed to call myself Canadian if this is the standard by which Canadians are to say thank you, show gratitude. and conduct themselves! I don’t care if the man is white, black, brown, or fucking polka spotted.. EVERY VETERAN is to be shown the utmost respect and gratitude for their service, their sacrifice, their duties done. We would not have the lives we take for granted every day without them. Remembrance Day is not just for those who have died, it is for every service man and woman every day.. a special day to say thank you and remember hardly seems adequate as it is and to pile on the blatant disrespect and disregard as was done to this man, is unjustifiable! You would think by now we are all better than this, but apparently not. In a City that will not eject an admitted drunk, crack using, anger management much Mayor..this is sadly just another day in Toronto apparently, but it is not just TO, it is Canada as a whole that needs to stand up and make some serious changes to how we treat one another as human beings. I hope these idiots who carry badges are held accountable for their actions, although I cannot think of a punishment that fits this crime, and yes, it was a crime!! I just can’t imagine a punishment that would make the victims in this matter feel like justice has been served..

  2. So disrespectful! If the injustice here isn’t enough, the people watching this play out while doing nothing look like they’re in a brainwashed haze. Very creepy and twisted.

  3. The police did not follow protocol and failed to state the reason why the man was being arrested.

  4. It was very telling watching the original video and not one person, NOT ONE stood up to support this vet. We know the RCMP are state police now. I didn’t know how truly ignorant some Canadians are! I was disgusted by “white hypocrites” attending a ceremony while practicing racism against our FNs vets!

  5. Why has this not been aired on TV, more people need to see this. Those cops need to be punished for what they did, they should be ashamed of themselves.

  6. What right do these Goons have , to say who can be in the Day Parade?
    They are not Veterans, who asked them to do this. There many Natives that served and Died, in the White Mans wars, something has to be done to these Dummies, they should be suspended without there Pay !!!

  7. next time smoke some crack, drink vodka and urinate in public…apparently this is ok in Toronto…or maybe you have to be the mayor to do that……and get away with it….

  8. I saw this last night and the hairs on my arms stood up because I was SOOO ANGRY!!! We as a society, CANNOT allow these things to happen. Those cops should lose their job and be charged with kidnapping and harassment. DISGUSTING. I see the people of my community go in and out of jail for TRYING TO SURVIVE in this bullshit corrupted world order and these cop fucks can get away with anything. WTF??!!?!?!? THIS IS A PUBLIC DEMONSRTATION OF A RACIST, OPPRESSIVE, VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS!!! PLEASE SHARE- EVERYONE NEEDS TO SEE THIS!!!

  9. I sent a copy of the video to Amnesty International Canada and the UN human rights division hoping that they will take it to action after watching the human Rights violations on video that were committed by the Toronto Police Department at the remembrance ceremony.

  10. Ya, detaining people with out cause is not a good thing. Especially when its a veteran on Remembrance day at a Remembrance Day ceremony. As for the white people comment, I don’t think its warranted. White people’s rights were violated at the g20 just the same as others. The real issue is that rights and Law apply differently to the rich and powerful(the 1%) than they do to regular people. Rob Ford smokes crack, makes racist comments, breaks procedure of his position, got arrested and convicted in the states of DUI(but dropped possession charges), constant intoxication, not to mention the current death threat crazy guy video and he is still the mayor(sorry if I left something out). This guy, a Native VETERAN gets arrested /detained for trying to be a part of of a Remembrance Day ceremony. Something is very very wrong. Not that I am trying to diminish the Native peoples plight in regards to discrimination and maltreatment, I just want to point out that we are all not seeing that the Laws of Our Nation only apply when it is in the best interest of the 1% ruling class.

  11. There are those who follow and those who lead. The proud Veteran (thanks btw) was a leader while the officer, with all his discretions allotted to him in his position of trust, chose to follow. So many people, regardless of race, sex, religion or lack of, have turned a blind eye to justice and it is mostly fear based and lack of knowledge of the people they shun. I hope the Toronto Police Service are held accountable for this AND are required to spend some time working with their peers: Anishnabe Police, NAN Cops, Reserve police etc. People can be so removed from doing the right thing and all bystanders were just as
    guilty. I pray for those who are lost, like those in the video. Bamapii.

  12. I totally agree with you… the more we let them get away with shit like this the more they’ll think they can. Their job is to serve and protect the people; it’s about time they started doing their job properly. I personally don’t think I would have been able to keep my cool if this happened to me… these guys need to seriously file the biggest civil lawsuit against TPS and get every single involved officer suspended from duty permanently.

  13. There is a simple solution for this. I have attended a remembrance day ceremony that included a first nations honour song along with first post, the wreath laying, etc. It was an inclusive and appropriate way of showing respect to all veterans.

  14. Everyone bombard the Toronto Police departments Twitter account with insults and demand that those officers publically apologize to those individuals AND be suspended from duty permanently. That will show the cops not to abuse their rights. If they get away with this, crimes against our human rights will only progress further.

  15. I think they had some training policy about what flags could be flown for “a Canadian ceremony”. Shame really. There needs to be a new perspective of Union between peoples, not One Nation: Canada, but Many Nations: First Nations & Canada, and perhaps beyond – How about the Earth Nation? The Earth People? Since earth has no sides – ask any astronaut. I look forward to a day when all people are treated with respect as equals.

  16. It makes me very mad. My Uncle was a Native killed at Vimmy Ridge. Many Native men and women fought for this great country. Why was he harrassed? Because his flag is different? Because he is Native? It makes me sick. In Canada we treat Veterans like this???? At Christmas we give in to different cultures and we are not supposed to say Merry Christmas as it may offend people, yet we treat Canadians like this………. Sick and disgusting. The Toronto Police are really out of control.

  17. This man speaks the Gospel truth. The Canadian Public is too damned pathetic to rise in revolt over any of Harpo’s atrocious acts. If it doesn’t affect you in some way just let it slide, it will all be over with the next election. Bullshit!
    If ten of those bystanders had any balls at all they just would have to walk over and block the cops from their victim. No violence just get in their face and refuse to move and just like he did tell them to “Fuck off” politely but firmly.

  18. This was totally disgusting and to find out he was not charged with any thing, proves Canada is really a “police state” they can do whatever they want to you. We here at Akwesasne know all to well and will not back down either. Very Proud of my brother Davyn! Niawen Vicki Beeson

  19. Good points Mike!! This isn’t about race so much as it is about our society’s elite, the Toronto police and their crackhead leadership. As a Metis and a former member of the Armed Forces I’m outraged by the treatment our brothers-in-arms received, something has to be done!

  20. We as ppl should be able to have r colors even if it means having flags it is not fair he severed for are county he and his flags had ever right to be there just like everyone else

  21. Toronto Police….here we go again.
    I am furious watching how these police officers handle this situation. It is sickening to see the human rights violations going on here.
    My background is Ojibway/Irish, but as a Canadian I am just ashamed that this kind of behavior by the police happens here in our great country.

  22. I believe — according to Davyn’s partner, Cathi — that this the 3rd year they have gone to a Remembrance Day ceremony with their flags out. I don’t think they were arrested the two years before? Not sure what makes this year different.

    It’s a pity the video doesn’t show what happens before the confrontation so you kinda just jump in at Davyn dropping all those F-bombs.

    It was so sad to see the police step all over the flags. I bet if the flags had been Canadian, the cops would have been more careful where they put their feet.

  23. He like his fellow veterans here in the U S A are guilty of the crime of beind a Veteran!

  24. I am sickened by this. As a Metis woman I am “substandard” in all I do in Canada….This veteran should be apologised to and the cops fired. I am tired of those Mother F—-ers (police) representing the status quo…or is it really the status quo? Shame on them, and the timid on-lookers….good for you Miquel….Our First Nation men who fought in both of our World Wars and conflicts since are unspoken and unsung heroes. They don’t even get their due in our history books…The dominant Canadian society should be ashamed of themselves.

  25. Kudo’s to “Toronto Activist” Miguel for recording this outrageous incident at the Stephen Harper official “Red Poppy” Remembrance Day celebrations, -MC’d by Rob “inebriated stupor” Ford. Clearly, as the ignorant crowd so amply demonstrated, Canada’s participation in those gruesome wars simply entrenched the colonial racism that stole this land from its First Nations. Canadians are so stupid and lazy that they allow themselves to be governed by an asshole that garnered less than 30% of the vote. This is the ‘freedom and democracy’ that people fought and died for? Harper’s no better than Hitler…

  26. Except if he was a white guy with the Canadian flag, he would have been left alone, probably even saluted a bunch!

  27. First thing I noticed was the stone cold stare straight ahead people all around and my thoughts were this. Pain and sorrow first and for most and my deepest apologizes for the disrespect shown to you Dayvn. I know I am not the one who did this too you but my mixed blood boils with anger and disgust! I will smudge today to clear this and pray.
    Second I look at the people again are they frozen with FEAR at what they have seen transpire in any protests? Are they confused by who they are to stand behind? Are they focused on the ceremony and have the same feelings inside as you and are in FeAR to speak up due to the honour of the ceremony?
    I am not condoning I am wondering no hate! ❤

  28. As a Canadian I’m outraged! Your flag belongs there as a show of support and as a symbol of your sacrifice! What the police have done is not only disgusting and deplorable but shows their rampant ignorance.

  29. don’t go after the police, or the department in court but rather raise a lawsuit against the city as a whole for their represenatives violating your rights. if you go after the police, the officers will get a PAID holiday and no reprimand but if you go after the city legally for their civil servants, then you will more likely get a cash settlement, which will come out of that departments budget, hopefully causing loss of jobs, preferably to those officers!!!

  30. How is Toronto multicultural? Or Canada for that matter if stuff like that can happen, it just goes to show how bullshit that really is!

  31. thank you Glenna. my father-in-law also served in the Korean war and came back physically and mentally damamged. God rest his soul. what is this great country of our coming to??

  32. This just goes to show that any human being whether they are white, black, Asian, native are being used as puppets. White people are the majority of people in Canada and the ones who believe the lies the most because they don’t understand the way then government works through experience like first nations have although they are starting to come around. Veterans Day is nothing but a front on the part of the government( elite and rich 1%) to shut up the people, they use the citizens to make more money for themselves, they always find a new excuse to invade another country and its always about profit. Anyone who chooses to fight for Canada or the US need to do their research on what they’re fighting for, and shouldn’t expect respect and recognition from a corporate run “democracy”. Wake up sheep!

  33. So where were the other veterns? Why did they not support their comrade? Is the City of Toronto representative of Canada? I hope not! Mayor is an out of control drunk/crack user, police shoot when less deadly force is possible, veterans are harassed and arrested, witnesses are arrested… WHY?

  34. I have little doubt he was specifically targeted for his previous activism and because he publicly complained about being assaulted by TO cops. I’ve known more people assaulted by TO cops than by everyone else combined and none of them were doing anything illegal. Even if they had been that’s no reason to assault them. The level of harassment and intimidation tactics by about 12-15 other cops against a friend and room mate who filed charges against the cop who assaulted her was unbelievable. Her lawyer advised her to leave Toronto for her personal safety if she wanted to proceed with the charges.

    The TO police force is rotten to the core, not all are bad cops but they all cover for the criminal cops amongst them and some go to great lengths to do so. I’m sure the fact he was a First Nations person also added to their zeal to harass him as much as possible though they will do the same to pretty much anyone who is lower income or a minority of any sort.

    There desperately needs to a thorough cleansing of criminal cops and those who cover for them in the TO force. As well as an enforcement agency that will vigorously prosecute criminal cops and give justice to their victims.

  35. I agree with most of what Mike says, however, I think we need to step back and admit that there is still a lot of bad stuff happening that is motivated by racism. I’ve noticed a lot more outrage directed at First Nations for almost anything we do. I am a half breed, and I see and hear a lot when white people(my friends even) don’t realize there is a native person present. I’m not saying it’s okay to be racist to White people either, but we have to look at the ugly truth that Canada is still very prejudiced as a whole, and the Government still has a mentality to quash the First Nations. These are just things I have noticed on the sidelines while listening as a double agent.

  36. OMG totally avoidable, except for swearing the guy didn’t physically assault, spit or threaten to harm the officer at all, he just swore and said that they didn’t have control to tell him what to do. what right did he have to arrest the veteran or takes his flags? why didn’t the officer consult with a more senior officer before acting on telling them to put away their flags or simply ask what their flags represent and just listened when his friend told them he was a veteran? I recommend to TO police to implement all police to do some research of official veteran groups and their insignias on banners and flags. Not to mention sensitivity training.

  37. I think you’re right, except why were the flags offensive to him? Why did the cop bother them and make a scene at all. It wasn’t cause he is (likely) poor but because he is native. White folks find us inherently threatening and those in power try to keep it that by labelling is criminals.

  38. I am white and I sure as he’ll would have spoken up. They have been FNMI people in all of Canada’s wars and the veterans, flags and recognition sure as he’ll should be at the ceremony, especially the ones at our government locations. In fact, I am not sure why the flags aren’t flying all the time beside the Maple leaf flag.

  39. Pingback: Veterans in Revolt: Canadian Vets “Ignored By This Government” | Dylan Powell·

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