Neglected 'far too long': Aboriginal veterans finally honoured in Calgary ceremony
National Aboriginal Veterans Day ceremony held at Calgary's military museum for the first time.
Dancers, drummers and even a federal minister were all on hand to mark National Aboriginal Veterans Day in Calgary.
The ceremony was held for the first time at Calgary's military museum, since the event was established in 1994.
Trin Knight helped open the ceremony by playing a traditional drum for several dancers who were on hand. Knight also shared Indigenous veteran's songs and traditional teachings at the event.
Trin says his grandfather served in World War II and had a huge influence on his life. "His name was Chief David Knight — what I do today was part of his influence, his teachings," Trin said.
That impact of indigenous veterans, like his grandfather, is one reason Trin says that having a day to honour aboriginal soldiers who fought for Canada is important..
"Coming together and doing this is a sign you know were starting to reconcile, were starting to heal as native people that's how I look at this day," Trin said.
Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett attended the ceremony. She agrees that marking the sacrifice of aboriginal veterans is an important aspect of reconciliation.
"It was important to set a separate day for indigenous veterans because they have been neglected for far too long," Bennett said.
The government estimates that more than 12,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis Canadians served during the First Second, and Korean wars alone. More than 1200 indigenous Canadians currently serve in Canada's military.
Bennett called the ceremony at the military museum a "huge success" adding that it was "wonderful in terms of not only ceremony but celebration of culture and teachings."
The military museum will also host Remembrance Day ceremonies on Sunday morning.
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