“The proud service of Indigenous Peoples is one of the most overlooked chapters in Canadian military history. It’s past time to change that.
“More than 12,000 Indigenous Canadians served in the First and Second World Wars, as well as the Korean War. They left their homes and families for environments where they faced prejudice and often had to operate in a new language. Some still did not have the right to vote. And yet they volunteered to risk life and limb. There are no words to describe that level of self-sacrifice.
“Today, many of their descendants serve just as proudly and willingly in every branch of the Canadian Armed Forces, while the work of reconciliation continues. We can’t erase past injustices but we can tell the truth. We can give those who fought for all of Canada, despite those injustices, the honour they so richly deserve.
“Thank you to all Indigenous veterans past and present for your service – and for your courage and generosity in choosing to serve.”