ARCHIVED - Ontario's Aboriginal Veterans

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Ontario's Aboriginal Veterans
QS-T024-000-BB-A1 2011

If you would like to order a free copy of this poster, or have a suggestion for a future version of the poster please contact:

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Executive Services and Communications
25 St-Clair Avenue East, 8th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M4T 1M2
Telephone: 416-973-2158

Edith Anderson Monture

Edith Anderson Monture left Six Nations of the Grand River in southern Ontario to volunteer as a nurse in war-torn France in 1917. [Helen Moses/Veterans Affairs Canada]

A continuing tradition of service

Canada's Aboriginal people have a proud history of defending our society and our shared principles.

Angus Pontiac

Aboriginal veteran Angus Pontiac. [Alex Peltier]

Many Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois, fought on the side of the British during the American Revolution and again during the War of 1812. It is estimated that 12,000 Canadian Aboriginal people served in the two World Wars and Korea, and more than 500 gave their lives. In the First World War alone, one in three able-bodied Aboriginal men enlisted. In First Nations such as the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan in the Ottawa Valley, virtually every man volunteered.

Corporal Francis Pegahmagabow

Corporal Francis Pegahmagabow, a member of Wasauksing First Nation on the shores of Georgian Bay, served in the First World War. An Ojibwa, he was the most decorated Aboriginal veteran in Canadian history. [Indiana University]

Many Aboriginal soldiers used their traditional hunting skills to serve as snipers and scouts. Code-talkers used the Cree language to communicate sensitive military plans in a language the enemy could not understand. Aboriginal women also volunteered valuable skills in all three wars, mainly as nurses.

Members of the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation

Members of the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, located in central Ontario, served in the War of 1812, the 1991 Gulf War, and every major conflict between. [Gordon W. Johnston/
Maadookii Seniors' Centre]

The Government of Canada is working to ensure that the significant wartime contributions of Aboriginal veterans are remembered and recognized and that veterans receive the services and benefits they have earned.

Corporal Huron Brant

Corporal Huron Brant of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, near Belleville, Ontario, earned the military medal in Italy in 1943 in an action another Canadian soldier described as a single-handed attack on 30 of the enemy. [Capt. Frank Royal/DND/NAC/PA-130065]

Today, the tradition of service continues among the thousands of Aboriginal members of the Canadian Forces. Serving across Canada and in peacekeeping missions overseas, they enjoy travel, training, and career opportunities. Many got started with the Canadian Forces as Junior Rangers, as young Cadets, or through the Canadian Forces Aboriginal Entry Program.

Graduates of the Canadian Forces Aboriginal Entry Program

Graduates of the Canadian Forces Aboriginal Entry Program celebrate. [Department of National Defence]

Let us honour our Aboriginal veterans and the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis men and women who will serve Canada into the future.

Ranger Master Corporal Carson Fiddler

Ranger Master Corporal Carson Fiddler assists in the evacuation of Sandy Lake First Nation when the Cree community was threatened by a forest fire. More than 400 Canadian Rangers, most Aboriginal, are part-time reserve members of the Canadian Forces providing search and rescue and other services in northern Ontario. [Department of National Defence]

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Ontario Region, works to make Canada a better place for the province's 126 First Nations.

Studio portrait

Studio portrait, taken in July 1882, of the surviving Six Nations warriors who fought as allies of the British in the War of 1812. [Library and Archives Canada / C-085127]

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada wishes to thank Veterans Affairs Canada, the Department of National Defence, and the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation for their assistance on this publication.

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