National Aboriginal Veterans Day

Across the country today, people are gathering for the 25th National Aboriginal Veterans Day.

It was started in 1993 in Winnipeg when organizer and Indigenous veteran Randi Gage says they faced racism and resistance.

She says it's important people understand that thousands of Indigenous people fought in the two world wars but, when they returned home, they were not treated like their non-Indigenous comrades.

Indigenous veterans couldn't vote, were unable to access their benefits and, in some cases, even had their land given to non-Indigenous veterans.

But thousands of Indigenous people continued to enlist, and Gage says they are very proud of their service.

She says having a day to honour their sacrifice started an important discussion but there is still more work to do.

Indigenous people were part of every 20th-century conflict Canada was involved in and served in the Canadian military at a higher per-capita rate than any other group.

About 4,000 First Nations men served in the First World War.