Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

“We have to broaden our understanding of the past to include the stories that were always there but that we weren’t telling. It’s a validation that these stories matter in our history.”

Britt Braaten, creative development specialist, Canadian War Museum

No matter where the soldier fought, the soldier gave their lives for this country; we should pay proper respects to all of them. Many have gone to war to prove their allegiance to Canada, but for thousands of visible minorities and First Nations, it went beyond that. For these recruits, it was more than a spirit of perilous adventure or proving their allegiance to this nation that prompted them to sign up for military services. It was mainly an assertion of their equality and the belief they were entitled to more than second-class citizenship. And a way to show they deserved the coveted right to vote and participation in certain professions (e.g. doctor, engineer)..

The stories of these veterans are mostly silent about their services to Canada. When they returned, they shed their uniforms, took up civilian lives, and never talked about what they did during the war. Their stories are disappearing, as many veterans carried their bottled-up memories to their graves. However, their legacies remain. They are the real heroes whose contributions to helping new generations of visible minorities and First Nations win equality, justice, and respect. Canada’s colonial legacy and racism has meant First Nation and visible minority veterans have had to fight to get the commemoration they deserve. Their bravery and loyalty to a nation that mistreated them remains little-known to Canadians. These veterans fought hard to for a change in our communities and a positive reputation — they would be undertaking their dangerous missions on behalf of a nation that ostracized them and denied them citizenships and civil rights.

The sacrifices that the veterans made to win civil rights should not be forgotten. The citizenship and opportunities that the newer generations enjoy today — These veterans went to the war, risked their lives, and fought for it. They took the discrimination on their shoulders, so the newer generations do not have to face it. So, if you see a veteran on Remembrance Day, please say thank you to them! 

This is an opinion article; the views expressed by me. Follow him on Twitter: @hkpltw And @Terry_Terence97


Velez, Irena. “War museum enhances content on Remembrance Day virtual resource to share ‘stories we weren’t telling’.”Art & Culture. Capital Current, 2021. Accessed 10 November 2021.

50 thoughts on “Remembrance Day: Visible Minorities And First Nation Veterans Fought for Equality And Respect”
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