Their ancestors fought beside the British in the Seven Years’ War, the American Revolution and the War of 1812. In 1885, they navigated Africa’s Nile River on a British military rescue mission and volunteered for Canada’s first international expeditionary force at the dawn of the 20th century, fighting with the British in the Second Boer War in South Africa.
But when Great Britain called for aid during the First World War, the support of Indigenous Peoples—First Nations, Inuit and Métis—initially caught the Canadian government off guard.
Thousands of Indigenous people answered the call after the Second World War was declared.
Status Indians were “wards of the government and did not have the rights or responsibilities of citizenship,” historian L. James Dempsey, who is of Kainai (Blood...