#Manitoba; #GenderIssues; #SexualOrientation; #GayPoliceOfficer
Manitoba, Nov 21 (Canadian-Media): Van Norman, the eldest of four brothers from Manitoba, was one of the many public service employees who lost their jobs due to their sexual orientation and gender identity, media reports said.
Van Norman joined the RCMP in 1947 and was forced to resign 17 years later when he was spotted at the Lord Elgin Hotel in Ottawa, which was a known hangout for homosexuals.
When Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized in 2017 for the so-called LGBT purge, Elenore Sturko, Norman's great niece travelled to Ottawa to hear it in person.
Elenore Sturko, Image credit: Facebook official
After she learnt from Norman's journal that he had received the Queen's Coronation Medal for his work on on the Distant Early Warning Line (DEW line), she wanted to change the way her uncle's life is remembered.
She also learnt that he had worked as an agent of the government at a time that deeply impacted the Inuit, and that he was also a protector of the people he was serving
After receiving a $17,000 grant from the LGBT Purge Fund., Sturko got Van's journal translated through Qikiqtani Inuit Association so that her uncle's words will appear in Inuktitut next to the English text and plans to give free copies to people in the communities where Van Norman was stationed.
"It's not a perfect world by any means. Looking at what happened to my uncle and then seeing where I am today is really, really meaningful," she said.
Sturko plans to travel to Iqaluit next spring where a plaque will be dedicated to Sgt. R.A. Van Norman.