By Kari Pries, Author of “We Have Superpowers” –
On 26 April 2019, advocates and leaders joined a bright-eyed group of children – our future advocates and leaders – in celebrating the launch of picture book We Have Superpowers / Nos superpouvoirs in Ottawa at the Military Families Resource Centre of the National Capital Region (MFRC-NCR).
Children from military families dressed for the occasion in superhero capes. After listening to their story, they crafted colourful masks to complete their outfits while the adults in attendance continued to speak about programmes available for serving, transitioning, and veteran members of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families.
We were engaged emotionally in the experiences of military and veterans families by Captain (ret’d) Helene Le Scelleur, Executive Director for Supporting Wounded Veterans Canada, and Marie Andrée Malette, veterans’ caregivers advocate.
Nora Spinks, CEO of The Vanier Institute of the Family, spoke to the expanding number of resources for professionals working with military families. She highlighted their endorsement for the role We Have Superpowers / Nos superpouvoirs will play in engaging with children both in practical settings and in educational contexts.
The Honourable David McGuinty, Member of Parliament for Ottawa South, spoke on behalf of The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, to welcome the book and express the Government of Canada’s continued support for military families.
We would like to highlight the great support of General (ret’d) Walter Natynczyk, Deputy Minister for Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), and his wife Leslie Natynczyk, along with Gen (ret’d) Maurice Baril who continue their service to our soldiers and their families.
The launch of We Have Superpowers / Nos superpouvoirs was a catalytic event to encourage discussions about the impacts of physical and mental injuries on families and to highlight the courage of this group of children. We are now focusing on the book’s distribution to MFRCs across Canada, its inclusion in Transition Group materials, and as a tool for Early Childhood Educators.
Special thanks is extended to Sandy Gauthier, Associate Director of Support Our Troops Operations, for partnering with this project, Layal Dleikan and Robyn Curry at the MFRC-NCR for hosting the book launch and overseeing logistics, and to the True Patriot Love Foundation for providing the Grant that made this project possible.
Finally, your attendance, words of congratulations, and other encouragement extended to this project has made it the success it is and we look forward to next steps as we continue growing support for Canadian children with superpowers.
Photo submitted by MFRC-NCR staff
This post is also available in: Français (French)