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National Aboriginal Veterans Monument

Honours the contributions of all Indigenous people in war and peace support operations from the First World War to today.

Ottawa, ON

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Visitor Information

Corner of Laurier Avenue West and Elgin Street, Ottawa, Ontario

The National Aboriginal Veterans Monument is always open to the public


Database Information

Municipality/Province: Ottawa, ON

Memorial number: 35059-054

Type: Bronze statue with granite base, concrete pad, and plaque

Address: 100 Elgin Street

Location: Confederation Park, directly across from the Lord Elgin Hotel, near Laurier Avenue

GPS coordinates: Lat: 45.421678 Long: -75.692961

View Canadian Military Memorials Database

National Aboriginal Day unveiling

On 21 June 2001 the Governor General of Canada unveiled a national monument to Indigenous Veterans in Confederation Park in Ottawa. (Canada's National Indigenous Peoples Day, formerly called National Aboriginal Day, is celebrated on June 21.) The unveiling was the result of the hard work and perseverance of the National Aboriginal Veterans Association, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples and Senator Nick Taylor.

Designer with a family wartime connection

Lloyd Pinay of the Peepeekisis First Nation in Saskatchewan designed the monument. His father took part in the D-Day assault in the Second World War.

Symbolism

The monument is reflective of all Indigenous peoples in Canada: First Nations, Métis and Inuit. An eagle symbolizes the Creator and embodies the spirit of the Indigenous peoples. Below the eagle are four human figures. They face the four points of the compass and represent First Nations members, Inuit and Métis. Female figures in the sculpture acknowledge the role of women not only as nurses, but also as those responsible for maintaining families while the men are away. The human figures hold spiritual objects – an eagle feather fan and a peace pipe. Each corner has an animal figure. They act as spirit guides in traditional Indigenous beliefs, each with a special attribute: a wolf (family values), a bison (tenacity), an elk (wariness) and a bear (healing powers).

Inscription

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.

Many thousands of Aboriginal 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 oversea to defend the sovereignty and liberty of allied nations, in addition to supporting the cause at home. Their dedication continues in peacekeeping 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 never-ending debt of gratitude.

Impressive service

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.


Conflicts related to this memorial

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