Today marks Indigenous Veterans Day in so-called-Canada. I’m not a support of the military, but I do want to acknowledge the Indigenous folks who went to wars for a country that didn’t have any regard for their lives.
Indigenous peoples were made to disenfranchise in order to do things that any “Canadian citizen” could do such as go to university, be a teacher, raise funds for a lawyer and enlist in the Canadian Armed Forces.
This means Indigenous people had to give up their Indian Status and leave their communities and families in order to do these things that settler Canadians could do without issue.
For many, enlisting was a means of survival. When returning to so-called-Canada from these wars, Indigenous veterans weren’t allowed to return to their families and communities on-reserve and were treated as less then other veterans, despite different things being promised.
The Canadian Armed Forces still targets Indigenous youth for enlistment with different promises and without telling the whole truth. I see recruiters at pow wows and Indigenous job fairs and I think it’s absolutely disgusting and inappropriate.
I think today I’m just recognizing and remembering the Indigenous lives around Turtle Island and the world destroyed by colonial wars, terrorism and violence.
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