It is Remembrance Day here in Canada and while I believe it is important to honor our veterans, it is even more important to honor the veterans who are have not been honored as much in the past. Therefore, I am making note here today of the contribution of Aboriginal war veterans.
I don't know a lot about it, but I recently visited a memorial for Aboriginal veterans and was taught a little bit of history. For example, when Aboriginal veterans came home, they did not have access top the benefits that other veterans had. In addition, participating in the war made them enfranchised Canadians, so some of them could not go home to their reserves. Rather than coming home to a hero's welcome and the benefits that were extended to other veterans, they were left dealing with their traumas and wounds with no place to call home!
It took over 50 years for their contributions to be recognized and for compensation to be extended. In all reality, there is still much work to be done for these heroes. If you combine this with the Residential Schools and the brutal attacks on their culture, it's not difficult to understand why Aboriginal people are hurting.
On the bright side, I have learned a lot about this culture and it's strengths in the past couple years. They are a strong people and are growing stronger every day. One day, the true story will be well known, and the long needed healing can begin with everyone's participation.
I really do this topic no justice, so I am including a few links. If you're interested, they're definitely worth a look.