The Department of Canadian Heritage has responded to CBC's query about why First Nations representatives were left out of the War of 1812 re-enactment during the Tall Ships Festival in Halifax last week.

Parks Canada wasn't able to respond before our story went to air Wednesday, but the heritage department sent an official written response the following day.

The response says "the Government of Canada recognizes the significant contributions of Aboriginal peoples during the War of 1812. Without the participation of First Nations and Métis allies, resistance to invasion may not have been successful."

Actors dressed in period costumes helped bring the War of 1812 theme alive at the Tall Ships Festival in Halifax, but the re-enactment did not include aboriginal characters. Thousands of First Nations soldiers helped turn the tide in favour of the British and Canadians during the War of 1812.

Geneviève Myre, media advisor for the Department of Canadian Heritage, said the government will provide support for community projects commemorating the War of 1812 over the next three years.

"Aboriginal communities are invited to submit to the department projects that tell the story of their ancestors' role in the War of 1812 and promote a better understanding among Canadians of their active participation in this nation-building event," read the email.

The Tall Ships and re-enactors were in Lunenburg Wednesday. They'll visit Pugwash and Pictou ports later this week. Other vessels are in Port Hawkesbury.