Mr. Speaker, 2005 is the year of the veteran and today is National Aboriginal Day. It seems only appropriate that on this day we honour Canada's aboriginal war veterans.
This morning at the National Aboriginal Veterans War Monument, Canadians from all walks of life paid their respects to the first nations, Innu and Métis who served their country, many of them making the ultimate sacrifice.
Thousands of aboriginal people volunteered to serve their country. From the warriors under the leadership of Joseph Brant who helped repel the American invasion of 1813, through the first and second world wars and the Korean war, to the numerous peacekeeping missions of today, aboriginal people have served Canada despite the fact that many of them were not accorded full rights as citizens.
While laying a wreath or making a speech can only pale in comparison to the sacrifices made by these brave men and women, they symbolize our gratitude. In Cree they say “ Kahgee pohn noten took ” on Remembrance Day. It means “the fighting has ended”. On behalf of all Canadians I say, may we never forget.