Honouring our Indigenous veterans

by | Interesting |

November 8 is Indigenous Veterans Day. It is a time to remember and honour the thousands of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis who served in the First and Second World Wars, as well as the Korean War. Learn more here. 

During these three wars, more than 12,000 Indigenous veterans served with honour and distinction at every level and in all areas of service. Indigenous Peoples continue to serve in operations at home and overseas as they have bravely done for more than 200 years. In 2021, more than 2,700 Indigenous People were serving in the Canadian Armed Forces. 

On this day, and on Remembrance Day, we reflect on the important and notable contributions made by Indigenous veterans. We also acknowledge the challenges faced by survivors when they returned to a denial of benefits and support, as well as loss of land and rights. It wasn’t until 1995 that Indigenous veterans were included in the laying of wreaths at the National War Memorial in Ottawa in honour and memory of their fallen comrades. 

In 2001, the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument was unveiled to honour the sacrifices and contributions to war and peacekeeping missions. This monument, crafted by artist and sculptor Noel Lloyd Pinay of Peepeekisis First Nation features two men and two women, as well as four animal spirit guides and an eagle, representing the Creator. To learn more about the rich symbology in this sculpture, visit the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument page. 

We remember, celebrate and honour the sacrifices and peacekeeping efforts of all Indigenous veterans on this day and every day. 

Learn more about becoming an Indigenous Ally today. 

Join many other Canadians in honouring Indigenous Veterans who have served in missions across Canada and around the world in times of war, conflict and peace by watching this video. 

Photo Credit: Tamra Thomson, Great War 100 Reads