Since 1994, November 8 has been recognized as Indigenous Veterans Day. Started in Manitoba as Aboriginal Veterans Day, National Indigenous Veterans Day is a time to honour First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals who served in the air force, navy, or army.
More than 4,000 Indigenous people served during World War I and each of those soldiers chose to enlist as Indigenous communities were against conscription. By the end of World War II, over 3,000 First Nations members, as well as an unknown number of Métis, Inuit and other Indigenous recruits, had served.
In WWII, some Indigenous soldiers worked as "code talkers." They would translate sensitive radio messages into their language to keep the information from being understood if the enemy intercepted the message.
Today we remember all the Indigenous Veterans who served in the Canadian military. There is much to learn about the thousands and Indigenous individuals who enlisted and we hope you'll join us in learning more about them.
Below are a few books and films to help you learn more about the efforts of Indigenous people in military service. Find a full reading (and watching) list here: nfpl.info/IndigenousVeteransDay
For Younger Readers
Grandpa's Girls written by Nicola Campbell and illustrated by Kim LaFave (Borrow)
Canada's Wars: An Illustrated History by Jonathan Webb (Borrow)
Fearless Flyers, Dazzle Painters, and Code Talkers!: World War I by Elizabeth Dennis (Borrow)