Nov. 8, marks Indigenous Veterans Day. Annually on this day Indigenous Veterans are honoured for the important contributions and the sacrifices made by First Nations, Inuit and Métis in service to Canada. We thank them for their service. View photographs and read stories from this time in our history below. You can also learn more about this day at Veterans Affairs Canada.

Pte Frank Michon (Fort William Band) 52nd Battalion

When the 52nd Batt. left Port Arthur for overseas in November 1915 some two hundred men were left behind. Pte Michon was to have been one of these but he packed his kit and got aboard the train with the others. At St John the extra man was discovered and Col. Hay decided to keep him. He was twice wounded was transferred to the Railway Corps, was taken prisoner by the Germans but managed to escape after being held for three months. A younger brother Xavier was wounded four times while with the 52nd Battalion. (Pictured below: Pte Frank Michon)

Pte Frank Michon (Fort William Band) 52nd Battalion

Sniper (Pte.) Micheal Ackabee (Fort William Band), 28th Battalion

Pte Ackabee has made a splendid record. He was twice wounded. His brother Joseph sent a Prussian helmet to the Indian Agent and wrote: “I have now been nearly three years at the front. I have never been sick a day, never missed a trip into the line and have came through without a scratch." (Pictured below: Sniper Micheal Ackabee)

Sniper Michael Ackabee (Fort William Band)

Pte Gunner Ignatius Singleton (Fort William Band)

The youngest of four brothers who enlisted. Gunner Singleton was wounded. His brother Zeno was once wounded. George was three times wounded while the eldest brother, Francis, came through without a scratch. (Pictured below: Pte Gunner Ignatius Singleton)

Pte Gunner Ignatius Singleton - Fort William Band 

1918 Letter to the Editor: Treatment of Indians

It was December 1918, The Great War had ended, and the millions of soldiers sent to fight were in the process of being demobilized. Indigenous soldiers had fought gallantly beside men of European decent and ‘colonial’ soldiers from far flung countries, proven themselves equal, but were returning to a society that didn’t count them – except when it came to how much they contributed to the Patriotic and Red Cross funds. It is encouraging to know that among Canadians, even in 1918, Indigenous people had allies. 

1918 Letter to the Editor "Treatment of Indians"

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