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Senator Archie Waditaka

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      OCTOBER 1997      v27 n03 p18  
The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations recently lost a valued and respected member of Senate. On the morning of August 1, 1997, First Nations Veteran and Senator, Archie Waditaka, passed away.

Senator Waditaka, a member of the Wahpeton Dakota Nation, was the son of the late John and Maggie Waditaka. He was pre-deceased by his first wife, the late Edith Waditaka, and is survived by his wife Helen Waditaka. Senator Waditaka is also survived by 18 of his 22 children, 78 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren.

Senator Waditaka was a veteran of World War II. He enlisted at the age of 18 and served with the South Saskatchewan Regiment and, for a brief period, the West Nova Regiment. He was a Lance Corporal which is the front line pointer, also known as a scout.

Senator Waditaka saw action in France, England, Germany and Holland. He fought in the Dieppe raid on August 25, 1942. He was on the first wave that jumped into the water from the plane. On June 6, 1944, Senator Waditaka was one of the many members of the allied troops that landed on the shores of Normandy on D-Day.

A spiritual man, Senator Waditaka had received an eagle feather from his family before his departure. This eagle feather was to protect him and bring him back alive. His faith kept him alive during his service, however, he was wounded in the foot during a recon mission in northern France.

Senator Waditaka received five medals for his service overseas. He most cherished the 1939-1945 Normandy Campaign Medal for shooting down two German planes.

In the time since the war, senator Waditaka has maintained strong ties to the community. He served as Band Councillor for two terms and Chief for two terms. He was involved in the Band Farm and was instrumental in the development of the school and education programs. He was also a Dakota language instructor for five years.

An active member of the First Nations community and an Elder, he was appointed to the Senate of the FSIN in October 1996.

Senator Waditaka was a spiritual leader and a believer in Dakota culture, tradition and language. He will be greatly missed by his wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sisters, relatives, FSIN Executive, Senate and staff and his friends.