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National Aboriginal Veterans Day - November 8th, 2020

National Aboriginal Veterans Day - November 8th, 2020
Posted on 11/06/2020
National Aboriginal Veterans Day - November 8th, 2020

November 8th is National Aboriginal Veterans Day. It is a time to remember and commemorate the contributions of Indigenous veterans in the First and Second World Wars, as well as the Korean War. 

 

Over 12,000 Indigenous peoples volunteered to fight shoulder to shoulder with Canadians in all three wars. First Nations, Inuit and Métis enlisted despite not being eligible for conscription. Indigenous peoples were not eligible because they were not recognized as Canadian citizens and did not even have the right to vote until 1960.

 

It is important to remember Indigenous veterans on this day (as well as Remembrance Day), not only for their contributions but also for the battles they continued to fight upon their return: disenfranchised as indigenous people, denial of benefits, loss of Indian Status, and expropriation of their land.

 

In 1995, Indigenous veterans were finally included in the laying of the wreaths ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. 

 

Additional resources:

14 Facts You May Not Know About Contributions of Indigenous Veterans

Remembrance Moments: Canada's Indigenous Veterans 

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