Aboriginal Veterans Day


Today, November 8th is Aboriginal Veterans Day, we honour all Indigenous Veterans as well as those who continue to contribute to Canada’s military. 


Thousands of Aboriginal people voluntarily enlisted in the Canadian military. Although the exact enlistment number is unknown, it is estimated that 12,000 Indigenous men and women served in the three wars (WWI. WWII, Korean War). However, it wasn’t until 1995, fifty years after the Second World War that Indigenous People were allowed to lay Remembrance Day wreaths at the National War Memorial to remember and honour their deceased comrades. At the time of the First World War, First Nations were exempt from conscription because they were not considered “citizens” of Canada. After the First World War, they didn’t receive the same assistance as other soldiers under the War Veterans Allowance Act (1932 – 1936). Aboriginal soldiers had to become enfranchised before they could sign up to fight in the Second World War, which meant that when they returned to their communities, they no longer had Indian status. Many Aboriginal veterans experienced the same unequal treatment they experienced prior to the war and were not awarded the same benefits as their non-Aboriginal counterparts.

‼️‼️Election Day‼️‼️


Where the parties stand on Indigenous affairs (in alphabetical order)


No specific proposals

Green Party

  • Re-introduce legislation to put UNDRIP in Canadian law 
  • Implement all calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry 
  • Implement recommendations of the 1996 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples 
  • Dismantle the Indian Act, while allowing self-governing Indigenous communities to “opt out” of the Act while the dismantling process unfolds 
  • Formally repudiate the doctrine of terra nullius, the doctrine of discovery 
  • Add representatives from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit governments to the Council of Canadian Governments 
  • Implement the lands claims agreements that are already negotiated 
  • Upgrade infrastructure to end drinking water and boil water advisories 

Liberal Party

  • Implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as Canadian law 
  • Eliminate all long-term drinking water advisories on reserve by 2021
  • Introduce legislation for “distinctions-based” health care for Indigenous people, emphasizing mental health, healing and long-term care
  • Reduce the number of Indigenous children in foster care by implementing the Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Children, Youth and Families 
  • Address all critical infrastructure needs (including housing, internet and schools) in Indigenous communities by 2030 
  • Target that at least five percent of federal contracts awarded to businesses are led by Indigenous Peoples
  • Expand First Nations policing and recognize it through legislation as an essential service 
  • Fully implement the Indigenous Languages Act 

New Democratic Party

  • Implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
  • Introduce Indigenous People’s Day as a national holiday 
  • Work with Indigenous peoples to co-develop a National Action Plan for Reconciliation, drawing directly from the Calls to Action and the Declaration to ensure that Canada’s laws, policies, and practices are consistent with Canada’s human rights commitments 
  • Establish a National Council for Reconciliation to provide oversight and accountability for reconciliation process, reporting regularly to Parliament and Canadians 
  • Co-develop the federal government’s Arctic Policy Framework through shared governance within the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee, including through the adoption of an Inuit Nunangat policy in full partnership with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami 
  • Establish a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation 
  • Establish Indigenous history education programs for all Canadians, based on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action 62 and 63 
  • Invest $1.8 billion to lift all drinking water advisories by 2021 
  • Spend $19 million to fund a mercury poisoning treatment centre in Grassy Narrows 
  • Resume and expand rural and remote bus routes and passenger rail service 
  • Ensure that Indigenous-led, culturally-appropriate home care and long-term care is available for Elders 
  • Create a Northern Infrastructure Fund to fast-track investment and focus on improving much-needed infrastructure like roads and broadband internet for communities in the north 
  • Establish a comprehensive, plan to address violence against Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ2+ people 
  • Ensure full gender equality for First Nations status

Phyllis Webstad


Orange shirt day is a movement that officially began in 2013 but in reality, it began in 1973 when six-year-old Phyllis Webstad entered the St. Joseph Mission Residential School, outside of Williams Lake, BC. Young. Webstad was wearing a brand new orange shirt for her first day of school – new clothes being a rare and wonderful thing for a First Nation girl growing up in her grandmother’s care – but the Mission Oblates quickly stripped her of her new shirt and replaced it with the school’s institutional uniform. Even though she only attended the residential school for a year the impact affected Ms. Webstad’s life for many years. She went to a treatment center for healing when she was 27 and has been on this healing journey ever since. “I finally get it, that feeling of worthlessness and insignificance, ingrained in me from my first day at the mission, affected the way I lived my life for many years. Even now, when I know nothing could be further than the truth, I still sometimes feel that I don’t matter.” Phyllis Webstads story is one of many residential school survivors, and today we wear orange shirts for each and every single one of them as well as those who who are unfortunately not with us anymore.