National Indigenous Veterans Day & Remembrance Day

Today, is National Indigenous Veterans Day and later this week on November 11, we commemorate Remembrance Day. For both of these important days, we remember and pay tribute to those who have served, and those who continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace. We are grateful and will never forget.

Two red handmade beaded poppies against a white background.

As part of our continued efforts toward greater inclusion and awareness, it is important that we take the time to honour all soldiers who performed military service. Whether they were fighting on the frontlines or ensuring that those in battle had the support they needed, we recognize and acknowledge of all the different groups that fought for our country and our freedoms.  

Today, on National Indigenous Veterans Day we reflect on the past and the estimated 12,000 Indigenous Peoples who enlisted to serve our country. These selfless individuals fought without eligibility for conscription or even the right to vote as citizens until the 1960s. 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.  

November 11 is a day to recognize the sacrifices that millions have made over the last century. It is a day of respect for all soldiers from all races, religions and backgrounds who have fought for our country. Black soldiers have played a major role in Canada’s military history for over 200 years despite racism making it difficult for Black soldiers to enlist. Although many Black men had been turned away, they remained eager to show loyalty to their country. An example of this is the No. 2 Construction Battalion formed in Nova Scotia, which was established for Black men to serve as part of the Canadian army, which became one of the most important military units in Canadian history. But despite their unwavering commitment, the Battalion was still subjected to racism amongst Canada’s ranks, pushed into non-combat roles to appease white soldiers who did not want to fight alongside Black men. Instead of serving on the frontlines, the No. 2 Construction Battalion provided lumber for the trenches, built roads and railways. Black Canadians also made important contributions on the home front. They helped achieve victory by working in factories making the weapons and supplies needed by the soldiers fighting overseas, and by taking part in patriotic activities like raising funds for the war effort. Today, Black Canadians continue to serve proudly in uniform where they share in the sacrifices and achievements being made by the Canadian Armed Forces.  

Below are some resources to learn more about this important day and the many groups involved. You can also show your support and pause in a moment of silence on Thursday, November at 11:00am to honor and remember the men and women who served and sacrificed for all we have today.


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