November 8th is Indigenous Veterans Day

November 8th is Indigenous Veterans Day
Posted on 11/03/2022
November 8th is Indigenous Veterans Day

November 8th is Indigenous Veterans Day. It is a time to remember and commemorate the stories and contributions of Indigenous veterans in wars and conflict past and present.


During the First World War (1914-1918) First Nations, Inuit and Métis participation was proportionally higher than that of any other people in Canada, with one in three Indigenous males enlisting. In fact, on the Pikwakanagan First Nation community (Algonquins) on the shores of Golden Lake, all but three males enlisted. Many Indigenous women also served as nurses treating the wounded, and Indigenous soldiers earned more than 50 decorations for bravery.


More than 500 Indigenous soldiers died in World Wars I and II. More than 12,000 First Nations (Status and Non-Status), along with a large number of Inuit and Métis, left their homes and families to serve Canada in those two conflicts. 


Following World War II, some Indigenous veterans returned from war and had lost their ‘status’, as they had been absent from their reserves for more than four years. This was a provision of the Indian Act at the time. Indigenous veterans were enfranchised, their sacrifices largely forgotten while their rights and status as Indigenous Peoples were taken away.

Learn more about National Indigenous Veterans Day: 

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