The World Sikh Organization of Canada has helped Master Seaman Wanda McDonald become the first Sikh woman to wear the turban while serving in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN).
McDonald, a Sonar operator based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, joined the RCN in 1997 and became interested in the Sikh faith three years ago. After deciding to become an initiated or Amritdhari Sikh, she requested permission to wear the turban on duty.
The Canadian Forces now allow both Sikh men and women to wear turbans and the Sikh articles of faith while serving.
McDonald has now been given permission and has begun to wear her turban full time while on duty. She said today, “as the first Sikh woman in the Royal Canadian Navy to be approved to serve while wearing a turban, I feel fortunate to be given this opportunity. Military service is a very rewarding career, and I hope that my example will inspire other Canadian Sikh women to follow this path; to be able serve their country without worrying about having to compromise their identity as a Sikh. “
~ Tapasleen Kaur
~ New Delhi, 2nd Nov ’14