Canadian Military Heritage Museum of Brant County

Indigenous People

World War 1

More than 4,000 Indigenous people served in uniform during the The First World War. It was a remarkable response and in some areas, one in three able-bodied men would volunteer.
Brigadier Martin – Brigadier Oliver Milton Martin was a first and second world war veteran reached the highest rank ever held by a an Indigenous man and; in civilian life, a school teacher, principal and provincial magistrate.

Of 272 Six Nations men who enlisted:
27 were Killed in Action, 6 died of Sickness, 1 was Missing in Action
And 55 were Wounded

World War 2

Indigenous people from every region of Canada served in the armed forces during the Second World War, fighting in every major battle and campaign of the conflict. To serve their country, Indigenous people had to overcome unique cultural challenges. Their courage, sacrifices, and accomplishments are a continuing source of pride to their families, communities, and all Canadians.
At least 3,000 First Nations members—including 72 women—enlisted, as well as an unknown number of Inuit, Métis, and other Indigenous people. The actual numbers were no doubt much higher. Most served in the Canadian Army.
Among this small number of identified Indigenous members of the forces, at least 17 decorations for bravery in action were earned.


Several hundred Indigenous people would serve Canada in uniform during the conflict. Many of them had seen action in the Second World War which had only come to an end five years earlier.


A Passion
for History