Aboriginal Veterans' Day (Nov 8)

Discussion in 'Canadian' started by Chris C, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Aboriginal Veterans' Day was inaugerated in Winnipeg on November 8, 1994. Ryan McMahon (@rmcomedy on twitter) says "a group of veterans started the day in an effort of special commemoration for Native Vets as so many of them fell through the cracks upon their return home."

    WW2 aboriginal vets would have returned home to a country in which they had to choose between retaining their "Indian" status OR being able to vote, and in which their traditional ceremonies were still forbidden under the Potlatch Ban section of the Indian Act. From what Ryan wrote, they may also not have been able to qualify for veterans' support or not been allowed into Legion Halls.

    More info:
    Indigenous People in the Second World War - Historical Sheet - Second World War - History - Veterans Affairs Canada

    A few famous vets of WW1 and WW2:

    Tom Longboat (1887-1949), an amazing long-distance runner, served as dispatch runner in France in WW1.
    Tom Longboat - Wikipedia

    Francis Pegahmagabow (1889-1952), MM and two bars, sniper and scout in WW1.
    Francis Pegahmagabow - Wikipedia

    Tommy Prince (1915-1977), MM, Silver Star - WW2 (Italy) and Korea

    "On February 8, 1944, near Littoria, Prince was sent forward to report the location of several German assembly points, including artillery positions. From an abandoned farmhouse about 200 metres (660 ft) from the enemy assembly area, he could report the location of the enemy's emplacements using 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) of telephone wire. An artillery duel followed as the Allies attempted to knock out the guns reported by Prince, and one of these rounds cut the telephone wire. Prince walked out dressed as a farmer weeding the crops; locating the damaged wires, he rejoined them while pretending to tie his shoelaces. He made a show of shaking his fist at the nearby Germans, then again toward the Allied lines. Returning to his lookout spot, he continued his reports, and over the next 24 hours four German batteries were knocked out of action. In all he spent three days behind enemy lines. For this action, Prince was awarded the Military Medal, his citation reading (in part) "Sergeant Prince's courage and utter disregard for personal safety were an inspiration to his fellows and a marked credit to his unit."

    Tommy Prince - Wikipedia

    National Aboriginal Veterans Monument, Ottawa
    Tricky Dicky and DaveB like this.

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