On November 8th we, as Canadians, honor and celebrate the great contributions and sacrifices that Aboriginal peoples have made in defending Canada during times of war. Aboriginal veterans have participated in all major wars since the war of 1812 and enlist in higher proportion than any other group in Canada.
The BCGEU is honored this year to sponsor the luncheon for veterans at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Center after the ceremony at the Victory Square cenotaph.
For many, enlisting presented many challenges such as: learning English, leaving their communities for the first time, or leaving behind family. As challenging as these are, they were also expected to adjust to a new culture. As we have seen throughout history, as with all Aboriginal peoples, they showed their strength and resilience and not only adjusted but excelled. Many of Canada's most decorated soldiers have been Aboriginal. Canada's military continues to see many Aboriginal recruits.
Today we honor Aboriginal veterans – and those currently serving – by giving thanks for their contributions and sacrifices. Their contributions to the freedoms we enjoy in Canada cannot be forgotten.
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