As Canada moves forward in its journey of healing and conciliation with Indigenous peoples, we must never forget the sacrifices and accomplishments of Indigenous veterans. On National Indigenous Veterans Day, held annually on November 8, Carleton University honours these contributions.

First Nations, Inuit, and M├ętis peoples have been part of Canada’s military history for over 200 years. In the War of 1812, Indigenous veterans played a crucial role in safeguarding Canada and protecting its citizens from attacks and invasions. Since then, thousands served bravely in both World Wars, the Korean War and numerous peacekeeping missions abroad. It is important to note that going to war on behalf of Canada oftentimes meant that upon their return, Indigenous peoples were enfranchised, meaning they lost their legal rights. The sacrifices of these individuals have been instrumental in shaping the Canada we know today.

November 8 is about making efforts to better understand the role Indigenous Veterans have played in Canada and expressing our heartfelt gratitude. Ceremonies are held across Canada to mark this day including an annual ceremony at the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument in Ottawa. The Carleton community is encouraged to take a moment of silence to honour our Indigenous veterans.

Learn more about the impact made by Canada’s Indigenous Veterans here.

A large war monument, a building with the Canadian flag can be seen in the background.

The National Aboriginal Veterans Monument stands in Confederation Park, in Ottawa, Ontario