Indigenous Veterans Day

Honour the important contributions made by First Nations, Inuit and Métis Veterans in service to Canada.

Message from Minister Bennett on Indigenous Veterans Day 2020

Transcript: Message from Minister Bennett on Indigenous Veterans Day 2020

Kwe, Tansi , Ullukkut, Greetings, Bonjour.

Today, on Indigenous Veterans Day, we pay tribute to the important contributions and the sacrifices made by First Nations, Inuit and Métis in service to Canada.  We remember those we have lost and those whose lives were forever changed. We hold their loved ones, families and communities in our hearts.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities across Canada set an important example for all Canadians in the respect and honour they express for Veterans.

Even before Canada was a country, Indigenous peoples have fought to defend our country and our values. In the war of 1812, Indigenous leaders, like Tecumseh, helped to ensure the safety and security of Canada. And for that, we honour them and thank them.

Where there has been conflict, where peace, security and safety have been threatened, Indigenous people from across Canada have answered the call.  We thank the thousands of First Nations, Inuit and Métis who have played pivotal roles in Canada's military.

Seventy-five years on from the end of the Second World War, our thoughts turn to the over 3,000 First Nations members and unknown numbers of Inuit, Métis, and other Indigenous men and women who served during that conflict. They displayed bravery, dedication and sacrifice that helped turn the tide toward victory.

They fought, so that we should have peace.

Today, Indigenous members of our military forces number over 2,700. This day is for them, as it is for those we have lost and those who continue to live with scars both seen and unseen.

To them, we say thank you.

While there will be no large gatherings to pay our respects this year, we can still find ways to remember together, while apart.

On this day and throughout Veterans' Week, I encourage you to take the time to honour the sacrifices of those who have served and are serving.  We are united in our respect and gratitude for what Indigenous Veterans have done for us.

Lest we forget.

Thank you, Merci, Marsee, Nakurmiik, Meegwetch.

Message from Minister Miller on Indigenous Veterans Day 2020

Transcript: Message from Minister Miller on Indigenous Veterans Day 2020

Kwe. Tawnshi. Unnusakkut. She:kon. Good morning. Bonjour.

I'm Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services Canada, speaking to you from the traditional territory of the Algonquin people.

Today on Indigenous Veterans Day, we mark the important contributions and remember the many sacrifices made by First Nations, Inuit and Métis in uniform.  They were far from home. Far from their communities and families. Yet when Canada called, they responded. They served.

They made contributions and sacrifices crucial to the war effort, many serving and earning decorations for bravery. Meanwhile, those anxiously awaiting their return were contributing to the war effort on the home front.

Seventy-five years ago, as the end of the Second World War ushered in a still-fragile world peace, Indigenous men and women in uniform were there, to celebrate victory and mourn those who had been lost.

Today, on Indigenous Veterans Day, our thoughts are with them. Our thanks go out to them. We will never forget the contribution they made to our military, our country, in the advancement of peace and security around the world.  We also honour the more than 3,000 Indigenous peoples who served across every theatre of that conflict.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis continue to play a vital role in our military. Here in Canada and in operations around the world, they continue to uphold the proud legacy of service left behind by generations past.

Today, at the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument in Ottawa, there will be silence and solemnity. Yet, the voices of those who have served and continue to serve will be heard.

There will be no large gathering to witness it. But we will be there in spirit, pay our respects to those died for us so we can live in peace.

Lest we forget.

Meegwetch. Nakurmiik. Marsi Cho. Thank you. Merci.

Message from Minister Vandal on Indigenous Veterans Day 2020

Transcript: Message from Minister Vandal on Indigenous Veterans Day 2020

Kwe, greetings, bonjour.

Each year, on Nov. 8, we reflect on the sacrifices made by thousands of First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals during times of conflict. On Indigenous Veterans Day we honour those who have served and continue to serve.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, a conflict that saw over 3,000 Indigenous people bravely serve. On the battlefield and the home front, their contributions helped guide Allied forces to victory.

On Indigenous Veterans Day, remember those who fought for liberty; those who were wounded; those who made the ultimate sacrifice; the men and women in uniform decorated for bravery and respected by their fellow service members – but who returned to face discrimination and exclusion at home.

Indigenous Peoples continue to answer the call and to play a critical role in Canada's effort to promote and protect peace and security. Today and every day, it is essential that we thank them and let them know that we appreciate them, and that they are respected, both abroad and at home.

Lest we forget.

Thank you, Merci, marsee, Meegwetch.

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