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Nov 8, 2023
LETHBRIDGE, AB – The eighth day of November carries an important designation, as it’s National Aboriginal Veterans Day.
Retired Warrant Officer Glenn Miller with the Lethbridge Legion said, “It’s a chance to really recognize the contributions of Indigenous members across Canada.”
According to the federal government, more than 4,000 Indigenous people served Canada during World War I, which took place from 1914 to 1918. The same response to enlist was seen during World War II as well. By the end of the conflict in 1945, over 3,000 First Nations members, as well as Métis, Inuit, and other Indigenous recruits, represented Canada in the war.
Miller said, “You have got to think, these people volunteered, and they weren’t even Canadian citizens.”
Miller said the history of Indigenous veterans runs deep in Southern Alberta. He noted that locally, a bombing range was installed on Kainai Nation lands, and the first Indigenous veteran to join World War I had ties to Southern Alberta.
Miller said, “Albert Mountain Horse, the brother of Mike Mountain Horse, whose had a school named after him, he was the first Indigenous veteran to join [in World War I], and he’s actually buried here in Canada.”