On November 8 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 at a higher proportion than any other group in Canada.
For many, enlisting presented many challenges such as learning English, leaving their communities for the first time, and leaving family behind. 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 were Aboriginal.
Their contribution to the freedoms we enjoy in Canada cannot be forgotten. Today we honor those veterans and give thanks for their contribution and sacrifice. We also give thanks to the Aboriginal people that currently serve in Canada’s military.
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