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November 8, 2023
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on National Indigenous Veterans Day:
“Today, we recognize, honour, and celebrate Indigenous Veterans who have helped uphold peace, protect democracy, and defend freedom here in Canada and around the world. We also remember the great sacrifices of Indigenous Peoples who have put their lives on the line in service to Canada, and pay tribute to the families, loved ones, and communities who mourn them.
“Indigenous Peoples have significantly contributed to our domestic and international efforts for over 200 years. They joined with British forces in the War of 1812, and thousands of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis soldiers served in pursuit of a better world during the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, and the Gulf War. More recently, they have supported Canada in places like Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and other multinational peacekeeping missions.
“Indigenous Peoples have historically faced unique challenges – from having to travel far from their communities to enlist, to overcoming language barriers, and adapting to cultural differences while in service to Canada. Despite this, they demonstrated great courage to overcome these challenges on the frontlines and as skilled sharpshooters and trackers. The Government of Canada is working to ensure that all Indigenous service members, Veterans, and their families are equally supported and recognized for their service – because that is what they deserve.
“Today, as we pay tribute to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Veterans’ invaluable contributions to peace and security, I invite all Canadians to learn more by reading their stories of bravery and resilience. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I thank Indigenous Veterans, their loved ones, and the over 2,700 Indigenous members currently serving throughout the ranks of the Canadian Armed Forces for their courage and sacrifice.
“Lest we forget.”