During the First World War, the Second World War and the Korean War, Métis from across the Métis Nation enlisted in the Canadian military in large numbers. Many Métis who volunteered during the First and Second World Wars were descendants of Métis who fought for Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont in 1885. Traditional Métis skills such as trapping, hunting, scouting and guiding were in high demand by the military and made the Métis very successful soldiers.
Following the Second World War, Métis Veterans were often unable to obtain their veterans’ benefits after their military service. Many Métis Veterans were turned away by Veteran Affairs Canada and did not receive the same supports, resources or benefits promised to them that were routinely given to other non-Métis Veterans. As the Veterans aged and their immense contributions to Canada’s war effort continued to be ignored by Canada, the Métis Nation launched a campaign to right the wrongs of the past and ensure that our Métis heroes were accorded the honor and compensation they so justly deserved.
Honoring WWII Veterans
It took three-quarters of a century to address the concerns of Métis Veterans who had joined Canada’s call to arms to enter the Second World War, and more recently 20 years of advocacy and negotiations of MNC’s Vice-President David Chartrand, Minister responsible for Veterans.
In 2019, Federal Minister of Veterans Affairs Lawrence MacAuley issued Canada’s apology that the benefits offered to Canada’s Veterans did not meet the needs of Métis Veterans (click here). At the same time, Canada and the Métis National Council concluded a $30-million Agreement to honour Métis Veterans of the Second World War including the payment of compensation. The Agreement is known as the Métis Veterans Legacy Program.
The Program has two objectives:
- To honour, through individual Recognition Payments, Second World War Métis Veteran’s pre- and post-war experiences that may have negatively impacted their demobilization success; and
- To support commemorative initiatives through the Commemoration Program that promotes awareness and appreciation of our Métis Veterans’ sacrifices and contributions throughout the Métis Nation and all of Canada.
This website is part of our on-going efforts to keep citizens throughout the Métis Nation Homeland — and beyond — informed on developments and initiatives at the national and international level concerning Métis Nation Veterans. It is our goal to honour our Veterans by being the leading source of information regarding Veterans affairs, and to provide Canadians with a better understanding of the contributions and sacrifices made by Métis Nation Veterans in service to their country and their people.