OTTAWA, June 20, 2013 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orléans, laid a wreath at the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument in honour of Aboriginal Veterans who served their country in times of conflict.
"Today, our Government pays tribute to Canada's Aboriginal Veterans who served during the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, and in other times of conflict," said Minister Blaney. "I encourage all Canadians to recognize the service and sacrifices of our country's Aboriginal Veterans."
More than 7,000 Aboriginal men and women served in the First and Second World Wars and in the Korean War. Of this number, at least 500 lost their lives. As only Status Indians were identified at the time, the exact numbers of Inuit, Métis and non-status Indians who also served during these 20th century conflicts are unknown. Many Aboriginal men and women continue to serve in today's Canadian Armed Forces.
"Aboriginal Veterans have made a considerable contribution to Canadian history and to efforts of the Canadian Armed Forces," said MP Galipeau. "Remembering the legacy they left behind is essential to understanding who we are as Canadians."
With this year's special emphasis on Veterans of the Korean War, today's ceremony commemorated the participation of several hundred Aboriginal Canadians in operations on the Korean Peninsula. Of those who volunteered for service, some had previously served in the Second World War and others were already active in the Canadian Army at the time.
For more information on the role of Aboriginal Veterans in Canada's military history, please visit www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/history/aboriginal.
2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran—Canada proudly remembers the heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to uphold freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada