First Nation Ranger Speaks about his experience serving in the Military
Mike Dangeli is among the Nisga'a Tsimshian and Tlingit nations, and at the age of 17, he decided to go into the US Army as an Airborne Ranger. He had served in the military for ten years, and after those ten years of service, he explained what Remembrance Day means to him.
"Is the ability to be kind to each other, and to me, that's what Remembrance Day is about? It's about honoring those who have sacrificed. I'm grateful to be here in the same space and time to talk to you guys. I'm very appreciative and thankful for where I am at. I'm grateful for all the hard times and the difficulties of overseeing and being in the places.”
Dangeli went into the military because he came from a long history of serving people in his family, with his great grandfather, grandfather, and uncle. But he did explain that racism still existed heavily when he had served.
"But yes, I was treated very differently, and I served in the early '90s in the regular army, and that time they still believed all First Nations, regardless if you grew up in the city or not, could be scouts. So, all we Indians were trained as scouts. They figured, oh, we all know how to hunt fish and live off the lands. Some of us did, some of us didn't. But we all became scouts in the military, so that kind of held on, that belief, but yeah, there was a lot of racism. "
Since retiring, Dangeli focused on his passion for art, and he is widely known around the Northwest. Most recently, he was the lead artist in the creation of the installment of the Missing and Murder Ingenious Women and Girls alongside highway 16 on Kitsumkalum territory west of Terrace.