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Article

John Baptist James “John the B” Marchand (Primary Source)

John “the B” Marchand from Okanagan Reserve #1 was a Bren gunner during the Second World War. He served in the infantry from 1943 to 1945. Learn more about Marchand’s time in the trenches during the Italian Campaign.

Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Joseph Benjamin Keeper

Joseph Benjamin “Joe” Keeper, world-class athlete and war hero of the Norway House Cree Nation (born 21 January 1886 in Walker Lake, MB; died 29 September 1971 in Winnipeg, MB). Keeper competed at the 1912 Stockholm Summer Olympics, where he participated in the 5,000 and 10,000 m track events. Keeper later served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War and received the Military Medal for his actions at the front. After his death, Keeper was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1977 and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

Article

Tommy Prince

Thomas George Prince, war hero, Indigenous advocate (born 25 October 1915 in Petersfield, MB; died 25 November 1977 in Winnipeg, MB). Tommy Prince of the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation is one of Canada's most-decorated Indigenous war veterans, having been awarded a total of 11 medals for his service in the Second World War and the Korean War. Although homeless when he died, he was honoured at his funeral by his First Nation, the province of Manitoba, Canada and the governments of France, Italy and the United States. (See also Indigenous Peoples and the World Wars.)

Article

Indigenous Peoples and the Second World War

In 1939, Canada found itself at war for the second time in a generation. As in the First World War (1914-18), thousands of Indigenous soldiers and nurses volunteered for the war effort at home and abroad, serving with distinction in the Canadian army, navy, and air force. At least 4,250 First Nations soldiers enlisted in the Canadian military in the Second World War, with thousands more Métis, Inuit, and non-Status Indian soldiers serving without official recognition of their Indigenous identity.

Article

Indigenous Peoples and the First World War

Indigenous soldiers, nurses, and ordinary civilians made a major contribution to Canada’s First World War effort. More than 4,000 First Nations soldiers fought for Canada during the war, officially recorded by the Department of Indian Affairs (see Federal Departments of Indigenous and Northern Affairs). In addition, thousands more non-Status Indians, Inuit, and Métis soldiers enlisted without official recognition of their Indigenous identity. More than 50 Indigenous soldiers were decorated for bravery in action, including the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) soldier Francis Pegahmagabow, Inuit soldier John Shiwak, and Cree soldier Henry Norwest.

Article

Lloyd Hamilton (Primary Source)

"Boy, you learn all kinds of meals. I still have the cookbooks. I even remember in Korea I had to – the pages were coming apart. I had to take a slat of wood and took two nails and pound it, so it keep these pages together. But they learn all kinds of meals. I know the first thing you learn to cook is shortbread. It was fun"

See below for Mr. Hamilton's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Lawrence Vicaire (Primary Source)

"It’s hard to forget. In dreams I keep on coming back. Some nights even now, I dream at night. I mean, it’s a long time ago that this war is over. But I still dream sometimes."

See below for Mr. Vicaire's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Samuel Hearns (Primary Source)

"The excerpt in English is not available at this time. Please see the excerpt in French."

See below for Mr. Hearn's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Bob Ducharme (Primary Source)

"It didn’t look very promising for any crops to have grown up in there in the future. Everything was torn apart, the houses, the farms, roads, bridges."

See below for Mr. Ducharme's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Claude Petit (Primary Source)

"And all of a sudden, I was in the army. And I didn’t know what to say. I told my grandma I was just going for the day, she said it was okay. And I come back and I had seven days leave."

See below for Mr. Petit's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

James Eagle (Primary Source)

"The next thing I know I hear a creaking noise – “Hey, we’re moving here you know?” So I go up on deck, hurrying up. I looked where we were coming from. There’s a little dark spot over there, which is Seattle. There’s water all around me. I said, “What the hell did you get yourself into now?”"

See below for Mr. Eagle's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Canadian Rangers

The Canadian Rangers are a unique organization within the Armed Forces, created to provide a paramilitary presence in the North and in other remote areas made up of mainly local Indigenous populations. The current number of Canadian Rangers in 2021 is roughly 5,000.

Article

Nellie Rettenbacher (Primary Source)

"And then all of a sudden I thought, “Oh, I don’t want to do this work around the kitchen or whatever.” So I asked if I could join the military police."

See below for Mrs. Rettenbacher's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Kenneth McClure Asham (Primary Source)

"The excerpt in English is not available at this time. Please refer to the excerpt in French."

See below for Mr. Asham's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Oliver Milton Martin

Oliver Milton Martin, Kanyen'kehà:ka (Mohawk) army officer, air force pilot, teacher, principal, magistrate (born 9 April 1893, in Ohsweken, Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation, ON; died 18 December 1957 in Toronto, ON). Martin served in the Canadian Army during both world wars. During the First World War, he fought on the Western Front as a commissioned officer and later trained as an observer and pilot. During the Second World War, Martin commanded home defence brigades in Canada. He reached the rank of brigadier, the highest rank attained by an Indigenoussoldier to that point. After the war, he worked in education and was the first Indigenous person appointed as a provincial magistrate in Ontario.

Article

Bertha Clark-Jones

Bertha Clark-Jones (née Houle), OC, Cree (Nehiyawak)-Métis advocate for the rights of Indigenous women and children (born 6 November 1922 in Clear Hills, AB; died 21 October 2014 in Bonnyville, AB). A veteran of the Second World War, Clark-Jones joined the Aboriginal Veterans Society and advocated for the fair treatment of Indigenous ex-service people. She was co-founder and first president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada. Clark-Jones devoted her life to seeking equality and greater power for women in Canada.