Minister of Indigenous Relations, Rick Wilson, issued the following statement on Indigenous Veterans Day:
“I invite people in Alberta to remember the thousands of Indigenous veterans who bravely served Canada throughout our history.
“Indigenous men and women served in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and more recent conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan. They brought courage, great skill and talent with them.
“In the past, Indigenous veterans served as sharpshooters, reconnaissance scouts, nurses, code talkers, and men and women in the navy and air force. Today, many of their descendants continue to fight for our country in every branch of the Canadian Armed Forces.
“These courageous men and women left their homes and travelled far distances to enlist. Many faced prejudice and discrimination, while having to learn a new language and culture. Some did not have the right to vote. Yet, all of them volunteered to put their lives on the line to save our own and protect our freedoms. Sadly, they faced racism and unequal treatment when they returned home.
“While we cannot erase past injustices, we can acknowledge the truth and look towards creating a better tomorrow. We can treat Indigenous people with respect and recognize their courage, strength and ability.
“On behalf of the Government of Alberta, I thank all Indigenous veterans for bravely choosing to fight for our province and our country at their darkest hours.
“Lest we forget.”