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November 8th, 2023

NDP statement on National Indigenous Veterans Day

NDP Veterans Affairs Critic Rachel Blaney and NDP Indigenous Services, Northern Affairs and Crown-Indigenous Relations Critic Lori Idlout, made the following statement:

“Today, on National Indigenous Veterans Day, New Democrats reflect on and commemorate the contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis who’ve served in Canada’s military and peacekeeping efforts.

Indigenous peoples in Canada have a distinguished and long history fighting for our freedom and safety. Indigenous peoples have served in war efforts from the First World War to the Cree Code Talkers in the Second World War, yet their service has historically been underappreciated. Today, we remember all the Indigenous peoples who served and those who lost their lives fighting for our safety and freedom.

It’s important to celebrate the success of Veterans, but we also must reflect on Canada’s failures at protecting and respecting Indigenous Veterans.

After risking their lives for our country, many lost their status after returning from war because they had been absent from their reserve. Their country denied them the rights they had been fighting to preserve because they fought for that same country.

We must always remember their resilience, their bravery, and their stories so that we can create a better future for everyone, and to fight for reconciliation and against systemic racism.

New Democrats will keep honouring the service of all Indigenous Veterans, now and in the future.

Lest we forget.”