BRANTFORD – The Canadian Military Heritage Museum in Brantford has a great display section dedicated to the Onkwehon:we allied warriors from the American Revolution to today’s warriors in uniform around the world.
Rick Shaver, chair of the museum, says his display has been heavily viewed by non-Native visitors and school children.
“First Nations contributed very heavily in all Wars,” says Shaver. “Take the Brants for instance. They had 18 direct descendents of Joseph Brant in the First World War alone.”
Indians were not to be conscripted into the military in those days but despite that, more Onkwehon:we young men and women signed up to defend their Two Row Wampum allies by volunteering.
And that close affiliation during times of distress carried on into the Second World War, Korea, Vietnam, and to today in several conflicts throughout the world.
“I don’t know the exact percentage,” says Shaver. “But per-capita, they had by far, more people in the military than any other nation. There was an entire battalion in the First World War, the 114th, Brocks Rangers, based in Cayuga.”
The Canadian Military Heritage Museum is located on Greenwich Street in Brantford and is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, until the end of November. They close for two months and re-open in the Spring.