Canada honours Indigenous soldiers in the Netherlands

eAwaz Canada News

Ottawa – The full story of Canada’s long military history includes many contributions from First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. They sacrificed so much to safeguard our peace and freedom—we owe it to them to ensure they get the recognition they deserve. Earlier this year, a group of Canadian, Indigenous and Dutch individuals created the Indigenous Legacy Project, a research and remembrance based initiative to identify and mark the graves of Indigenous soldiers buried in cemeteries across the Netherlands. The Liberation of the Netherlands was Canada’s last major contribution to helping the Allies to victory during the Second World War. More than one million Canadians and Newfoundlanders served in the conflict—over 3,000 of them were Indigenous.

Veterans Affairs Canada is recognizing the importance of this initiative by supporting a delegation to the Netherlands. There, they will honour, acknowledge and feast the spirit of the deceased Indigenous soldiers through traditional ceremony, to recognize the contributions of Indigenous Peoples in the Second World War and thank the group responsible for the Indigenous Legacy Project.

The delegation includes family members and representatives from 13 of the recently identified Indigenous soldiers, Elders, representatives from Aboriginal Veterans Autochtones, and the Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada, Paul Ledwell, on behalf of Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence. This is an opportunity for those connected to the Indigenous soldiers to honour their ancestors and reconnect with their shared history.