National Aboriginal Veterans Monument

Artist: Noel Lloyd Pinay

National Aboriginal Veterans Monument

"To Aboriginal War Veterans in Canada and to those that have Fallen

This monument is raised in sacred and everlasting honour of the contributions of all Aboriginal Canadians in war and peacekeeping operations."

- inscription on National Aboriginal Veterans Monument

Many thousands of Indigenous people saw action and endured hardship in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War. They served with honour and distinction in all branches of the service and in every rank and appointment from Private to Brigadier. They fought overseas to defend the sovereignty and liberty of allied nations, in addition to supporting the cause at home. Their dedication continues in peace support operations in faraway lands.

Their heroic acts earned many decorations for bravery as well as the respect and enduring friendship of their comrades in arms. Hundreds from across Canada gave fully of their lives so that all Canadians might know peace and inherit freedom.

We who would follow in their path are humbled by the magnitude of their sacrifice and inspired by the depths of their resolve. We owe them a debt of gratitude we cannot soon hope to repay.

Unveiled by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, C.C., C.M.M., C.D. former Governor General of Canada and Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces on June 21, 2001, National Aboriginal Day.

This monument was made possible by the National Aboriginal Veterans Association and the generous donations of the Canadian people.

The unveiling is the result of the hard work and perseverance of the National Aboriginal Veterans Association (NAVA), the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples and Senator Nick Taylor. The work of artist Lloyd Pinay, the monument is reflective of all Indigenous Peoples in Canada; First Nations, Métis and Inuit.

Indigenous Veterans have reason to be proud of their wartime contributions. More than 7,000 First Nations members served in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War, and an unknown number of Inuit, Métis and other Indigenous people also participated. One Veterans group estimates that 12,000 Indigenous people served in the three wars. On each occasion, Aboriginal members of the armed forces overcame cultural challenges and made impressive sacrifices and contributions to help the nation in its efforts to restore world peace. It was an incredible response - consistent with a remarkable tradition.

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The National Aboriginal Veterans Monument is located in Confederation Park which is located on the East side Elgin Street across from the Lord Elgin Hotel between Laurier Avenue West and Slater Street in Ottawa, Ontario.

Related Articles: Indigenous Soldiers - Foreign Battlefields

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