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National Indigenous Veterans Day

The federal government established National Indigenous Veterans Day on Nov. 8, 1994 to finally honour the thousands of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people who served in the World Wars, the Korean War and later conflicts. Although they could not be conscripted when World War II was declared, thousands of Canadian Indigenous men and women voluntarily enlisted. The chance to go to war provided opportunity for many Indigenous peoples to fulfill a long, culturally-ingrained tradition of defending the land, for the greater good.

Every Indigenous culture and language has particular words to describe what it means to be a warrior. The Ojibwe would refer to soldiers who went to war as Zhimaaganishag after the word for lance (Zhimaagan).
Learn more about how Indigenous veterans served our country here.
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