Dating military men from cf
Keeping in mind the history of Aboriginal peoples post contact with European settlers and the systematic measures undertaken by the federal government to erase Aboriginal culture from society, it is surprising that any of the First Peoples felt compelled to bear arms and risk their lives for the Monarchy.According to records, many signed up just to escape life on the reserves, to access signing bonuses, or were attracted by the lure of adventure.Oka Crisis In 1990, the famous image of the Mohawk warrior face to face with a Canadian soldier personified the Oka Crisis and drew worldwide attention to Native rights (or the lack thereof) in Canada.It too, involved the loss of life, as police officer Marcel Lemay was killed.During World War II just over 3,000 status-Indians enlisted, and this despite the treatment of Aboriginal veterans upon returning home from serving in the Great War.It is quite likely more would have enlisted but the exacting requirements of the some of the branches of the CF (the Royal Canadian Navy towed a hard line on recruitment, known as the “colour line” that specified that all personnel be of “Pure European Descent and of the White Race”) were barriers.As June 5 is Canadian Forces Day we thought it would be timely to provide some history of Aboriginal enlistment in the Canadian Forces (CF) and why the military faces challenges in terms of its image with Aboriginal peoples.Aboriginal people in Canada have a long, storied, and complicated history of serving in the army, dating back to the War of 1812.
Two tragic events in recent history have had a lasting impact on the attitude of Aboriginal Peoples towards the military: Camp Ipperwash In 1942, under the War Measures Act, the federal government expropriated land from the Stony Point First Nation in order to build a military camp.
The dispute escalated and the police were called in, Officer Lemay was killed, the RCMP were called in but were overwhelmed and then it further escalated when the military moved in.
This land dispute involved the Mohawks of Kanesatake and the town of Oka which wanted to expand a golf course and build luxury condos on land claimed by the Mohawks and containing an ancestral burial ground.
The Mohawks set up barricades leading to the development site.
Stony Plain tried to reclaim the land (which contained an ancestral burial ground that was destroyed during construction of the camp) but to no avail.
The military withdrew its presence from the camp in September 1995 but by then relations between the Stony Plain First Nation and the government had become hostile - protesters built barricades at Ipperwash Provincial Park, the Ontario Provincial Police were called, guns were drawn, shots fired and Dudley George, on the leaders of the protest, was killed.