November 8th is #IndigenousVeteransDay in #Canada. #Indigenous nations not only played a critical role in the establishment of Canada as a nation, but have defended Canada in every major war our nation has faced. Below is a small thread to inform #CanadaRemembers :
By the early 1900s the emerging colonial state of Canada had perfected deployment of the Northwest Mounted Police ( @rcmpgrcpolice) to confine #FirstNations on reserves, place their children in residential schools, & enforce the imposed Band form of governance. When WW1 arrived:
Despite decades of state oppression, thousands of Aboriginal people voluntarily enlisted in the Canadian military during the WW1. While the exact enlistment number is unknown, it is estimated that well over 4,000 Aboriginal people served in the Canadian forces during the conflict
While enlisted #Indigenous soldiers were treated as equals and generally accepted without prejudice. Returning home after the First World War, #Aboriginal #Veterans received little public or private support and were denied access to soldier settlement schemes.
Despite treatment after WW1, At least 3090 First Nations soldiers enlisted in the Canadian military in the Second World War, with thousands more Métis, Inuit, and non-Status Indian soldiers serving without official recognition of their Indigenous identity.
As with previous #veterans, #Indigenous soldiers returning after WW2 received little acknowledgement for their service. #FirstNations veterans did not receive the same treatment as other Canadians, particularly in the limited Veterans Land Act benefits available to them
#Indigenous peoples have disproportionately supported Canada in wars both at home (colonial wars, 1812) and abroad, despite continued discrimination & oppression. Today we must remember that much of the quality of life we enjoy as Canadians was achieved by Indigenous peoples.