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November 9th 2023
Concerns of an emerging climate enemy coupled with calls for hope at an Indigenous Veterans Day ceremony held in Vancouver.
At the Victory Square Cenotaph in Vancouver, a crowd of about 100 gathered beneath drizzling, overcast skies to pay their respects to Indigenous veterans. It was one of dozens of ceremonies held in major cities across Canada on Wednesday. Since the first Indigenous Veterans Day was held in Canada on Nov. 8, 1994, veteran Mike Dangeli said a lot has changed.
“When we started this, it was a different time,” he said. “We weren’t treated with the same respect even though we spilled some of the same blood in some of the same mud as our non-Indigenous relatives.”
Established 75 years after the national day of remembrance on Nov. 11, a history of neglect has plagued the treatment of Indigenous veterans in Canada. On Wednesday, the vibration of drums and voices in song echoed through the streets of downtown Vancouver as an array of distinctly honoured speakers took their turn at the mic.