Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald expressed her gratitude to the brave First Nations men and women who served during WWI and WWII on this National Aboriginal Veteran’s Day and upcoming Remembrance Day.
“On National Aboriginal Veteran’s Day, we remember the many individuals who volunteered to serve and paid the ultimate price for us. Their contributions and the heroic actions during these horrific wars must never be forgotten.
Today provides an opportunity to honour the legacy of these brave men and women who fought for freedom but also serves as a reminder of the First Nation’s resilience and loyalty even when the country we fought and died for didn’t recognize us as equals.
The prejudice was felt by many First Nations people serving in these wars, and the subsequent denial of veteran benefits upon their return was a sting that they would not soon forget and we as a people should never forget. This is a day to recognize that we as a country can do better and must do better.
I encourage all to attend one of the many ceremonies held in honour of Aboriginal Veterans, as this is a celebration of their contributions and their efforts to preserve our culture and traditions for future generations.”
It’s estimated that nearly 12,000 Indigenous people served during WWI and WWII, along with the Korean war, including nearly 7,000 First Nations identified members. There are more than 1,200 Indigenous people currently serving in Canada’s armed forces.