OTTAWA – Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh led his caucus in marking the sacrifices of Indigenous veterans this morning, as well as the discrimination they faced after returning from war.
Singh and his members of Parliament were at the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument in downtown Ottawa, where they laid a wreath and roses during a short but sombre ceremony.
It is estimated that more than 12,000 Indigenous people joined the Canadian military during the First and Second World Wars and Korea.
More than 500 were killed and countless more injured.
Many of those who returned to Canada ended up falling through the cracks after they were denied the same benefits provided to non-Indigenous veterans, while others found out they had lost their Indian status by putting on a uniform.
Singh described the treatment of those Indigenous veterans as an injustice, even as he paid homage to those currently serving in uniform.
There are more than 2,500 Indigenous people currently serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, representing around 2.7 per cent of all military personnel.