Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

June 21, 2010 14:14 ET

Minister Blackburn and Minister Strahl Participate in Ceremony to Highlight National Aboriginal Day

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 21, 2010) - The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), and the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, each laid a wreath today at the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument to honour Canada's First Nations, Inuit and Métis who served and continue to serve in uniform for Canada. The ceremony marked the occasion of National Aboriginal Day.

"Our Aboriginal Veterans have a proud legacy of serving our country and I encourage them to share their stories with Canadians, particularly our youth," said Minister Blackburn. "Their commitment represents a significant part of our history and heritage that must be preserved for future generations."

It is important to remember that thousands of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people served in the First and Second World Wars, in the Korean War and in other times of conflict. More than 500 individuals made the ultimate sacrifice and are buried in cemeteries around the world.

One story of bravery is that of Tommy Prince, an Ojibwa from Manitoba, who served in both World Wars and the Korean War. One of Canada's most decorated Aboriginal Veterans, Mr. Prince was recognized with bravery medals by both Canada and the United States for his service with the joint US-Canada First Special Service Force. He was also among the first Canadian troops to arrive in Korea in August 1950.

For more information on the contribution of Aboriginal Veterans to Canada's military history, visit the Veterans Affairs Web site at www.vac-acc.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Jitka Licenik
    Acting Media Relations Advisor
    613-943-7878
    or
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Sophie Doucet
    Director of Communications
    613-992-3465
    Cell.: 613-608-3252