National Indigenous Veterans Day and Remembrance Day

Today, we recognize National Indigenous Veterans Day, and later this week, on November 11, we commemorate Remembrance Day. On both these important days, we acknowledge the courage and sacrifices of those who served our country and those who continue to serve today.

Times of war touched, and continue to touch, Canadians of all races, religions and backgrounds. As part of our continued efforts toward equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility, it’s essential to pay tribute to the diverse communities that fought for our freedoms.

Throughout this article, there are some resources to learn more about this day and the many groups involved. You can also show your support and pause in a moment of silence on November 11 at 11:00 a.m. to honour those who served and sacrificed for all we have today.

National Indigenous Veterans Day

National Indigenous Veterans Day is a time to honour the significant contributions made by First Nations, Inuit and Métis veterans in service to Canada. It’s estimated that as many as 12,000 Indigenous peoples served in conflicts in the 20th century, and at least 500 lost their lives. Many of these individuals overcame different challenges to enlist and serve – including learning a new language, adapting to cultural differences and travelling from remote communities. Despite being ineligible for conscription, in the first World War, First Nations, Inuit and Métis participation was higher than that of any other people in Canada. One in three Indigenous males volunteered, and many Indigenous women served as nurses.

There is no shortage of courageous stories of Indigenous soldiers: Noel Knockwood, a residential school survivor who fought in the Korean War and later served as the Sergeant-at-Arms for Nova Scotia; Francis Pegahmagabow, one of Canada’s most decorated Indigenous soldiers; Edith Anderson Monture, a nurse who served overseas; and countless others.

We acknowledge their contributions supporting three wars during a time when the Canadian government continued to impose oppressive assimilation policies that denied Indigenous peoples the basic rights and freedoms that other veterans were afforded. We appreciate the courage it took for those Indigenous men, women and 2-spirited folk to fight for our freedoms while being subjected to a painful colonial experience for generations; the legacy of that experience continues to reverberate today. Many Indigenous peoples continue to serve in the Canadian military and armed forces, and we wish to acknowledge them and those who came before them.


The history and legacy of Indigenous Veterans Day (CTV News)

Indigenous Veterans (Veterans Affairs Canada)

Indigenous contributions during the First World War (Government of Canada)

Indigenous Peoples in military history (Government of Canada)

Indigenous Peoples and the World Wars (The Canadian Encyclopedia)

Indigenous Veterans Day (City of Toronto)

Remembrance Day

On November 11, we remember the sacrifices millions of Canadians have made over the last century during times of war, conflict and peace. When we pay tribute to our veterans, we must acknowledge the contributions of all soldiers, including those from racialized communities.

Like Indigenous soldiers, Black soldiers played a pivotal role in Canada’s military history, despite facing racism and discrimination. During the First World War, over 750 Black men enlisted in the No. 2 Construction Battalion, which was established for Black men to serve as part of the Canadian army and became one of the most important military units in Canadian history. In addition, 700 Black Canadians joined other units, offering distinguished service that earned some of them medals for bravery at places like Ypres, Vimy Ridge, Hill 70 and Passchendaele.

Honour our Black veterans by reading and amplifying their unique stories. Learn about the Carty Brothers, five brothers who served during the Second World War and defied the odds to become accomplished airmen; Ethelbert ‘Curley’ Christian, who helped establish a program for disabled veterans which is still offered today; and more stories of Black Canadian veterans here.

We recognize the challenges faced by Black soldiers and the bravery it took to serve. Today, Black Canadians continue to serve proudly in uniform where they share in the sacrifices and achievements being made by the Canadian Armed Forces. We are grateful for their bravery and influential contributions to our country.


Ways to Remember (Government of Canada)

10 Quick Facts on Remembrance Day (Veterans Affairs Canada)

Black Canadians in uniform — a proud tradition (Veterans Affairs Canada)

Heroes Remember — Chinese-Canadian Veterans (Government of Canada)

Women Veterans (Government of Canada)

Honour and Remember (

Reframing Remembrance Day: An Equity-Informed Approach For Educators (

The story of Canada’s WWI all-Black military battalion (

By 2 months

Has your baby had their hearing screened? YES NO

By 6 months

Does the child?

Startle in response to loud noises? YES NO
Turn to where a sound is coming from? YES NO
Make different cries for different needs (hungry, tired)? YES NO
Watch your face as you talk? YES NO
Smile/laugh in response to your smiles and laughs? YES NO
Imitate coughs or other sounds such as ah, eh, buh YES NO

By 9 months

Does the child?

Respond to their name? YES NO
Respond to the telephone ringing or a knock at the door? YES NO
Understand being told no? YES NO
Get what they want through using gestures (reaching to be picked up)? YES NO
Play social games with you (Peek-a-Boo)? YES NO
Enjoy being around people? YES NO
Babble and repeat sounds such as babababa or duhduhduh? YES NO

By 12 months

Does the child?

Follow simple one-step directions (sit down)? YES NO
Look across the room to a toy when adult points at it? YES NO
Consistently use three to five words? YES NO
Use gestures to communicate (waves hi/bye, shakes head for no)? YES NO
Get your attention using sounds, gestures and pointing while looking at your eyes? YES NO
Bring you toys to show you? YES NO
Perform for social attention and praise? YES NO
Combine lots of sounds together as though talking (abada baduh abee)? YES NO
Show an interest in simple picture books? YES NO

By 18 months

Does the child?

Understand the meaning of in and out, off and on? YES NO
Point to more than 2 body parts when asked? YES NO
Use at least 20 words consistently? YES NO
Respond with words or gestures to simple questions (Where's teddy? What's that?)? YES NO
Demonstrate some pretend play with toys (gives teddy bear a drink, pretends a bowl is a hat)? YES NO
Make at least four different consonant sounds (p ,b, m, n, d, g, w, h)? YES NO
Enjoy being read to and sharing simple books with you? YES NO
Point to pictures using one finger? YES NO

By 2 years

Does the child?

Follow two-step directions (Go find your teddy bear and show it to Grandma.)? YES NO
Use 100 to 150 words? YES NO
Use at least two pronouns (you, me, mine)? YES NO
Consistently combine two to four words in short phrases (Daddy hat. Truck go down.)? YES NO
Enjoy being around other children? YES NO
Begin to offer toys to other children and imitate other children's actions and words? YES NO
Use words that are understood by others 50 to 60 per cent of the time? YES NO
Form words or sounds easily and without effort? YES NO
Hold books the right way up and turn the pages? YES NO
Read to stuffed animals or toys? YES NO
Scribble with crayons? YES NO

By 30 months

Does the child?

Understand the concepts of size (big/little) and quantity (a little/a lot, more)? YES NO
Use some adult grammar (two cookies, bird flying, I jumped)? YES NO
Use over 350 words? YES NO
Use action words such as run, spill, fall? YES NO
Participate in some turn-taking activities with peers, using both words and toys? YES NO
Demonstrate concern when another child is hurt or sad? YES NO
Combine several actions in play (puts blocks in the train and drives the train, drops the blocks off.)? YES NO
Put sounds at the beginning of most words? YES NO
Use words with two or more syllables or beats (ba-na-na, com-pu-ter, a-pple)? YES NO
Recognize familiar logos and signs involving print (Stop sign)? YES NO
Remember and understand familiar stories? YES NO

By 3 years

Does the child?

Understand who, what, where and why questions? YES NO
Create long sentences using five to eight words? YES NO
Talk about past events (trip to grandparents house, day at child care)? YES NO
Tell simple stories? YES NO
Show affection for favourite playmates? YES NO
Engage in multi-step pretend play (pretending to cook a meal, repair a car)? YES NO
Talk in a way that most people outside of the family understand what she/he is saying most of the time? YES NO
Have an understanding of the function of print (menus, lists, signs)? YES NO
Show interest in, and awareness of, rhyming words? YES NO
Read to stuffed animals or toys? YES NO
Scribble with crayons? YES NO

By 4 years

Does the child?

Follow directions involving three or more steps (First get some paper, then draw a picture and give it to Mommy)? YES NO
Use adult type grammar? YES NO
Tell stories with a beginning, middle and end? YES NO
Talk to try and solve problems with adults and with other children? YES NO
Show increasingly complex imaginary play? YES NO
Talk in a way that is understood by strangers almost all the time? YES NO
Generate simple rhymes (cat-bat)? YES NO
Match some letters with their sounds (letter b says buh, letter t says tuh)? YES NO