As we approach National Aboriginal Veterans Day (November 8th) and Remembrance Day (November 11th), we honor and remember those who served in past conflicts - we share gratitude for the past sacrifices made for our current freedom.
As we continue move towards Truth and Reconciliation with Indigenous Nations and the recognition that many of South JT GROWs conversations are about development on appropriated and stolen Indsigenous land, we’d like to share some history about Indigenous Veterans, who have fought and sacrificed their lives in both World Wars, despite their people’s treatment with colonization. We invite you to learn and unlearn Canada’s history with us:
To learn more about the history and Indigenous Nations and land that we are currently on, see “Native Land Digital”. In this web site you can enter your address, or by mousing or clicking around on the map to see the relevant territories in a location. Once you click, a number of links will appear with different nation names. By clicking on those links, you will be taken to a page specifically about that nation, language, or treaty, where you can view some sources, give feedback, and learn a little more
We’re also sharing a map of WW1, WW2 and Korean War veterans and where they lived in Toronto: “Mapping Canada’s war dead, house by house”. Closer to home, we have WW1 Private John William Lawrence who grew up at 49 Perth Avenue. Private Lawrence was 32 years old when he enlisted and his trade was simply stated as “labourer”. He died in battle at age 36. He was married to Nellie and his mother Elizabeth was still living on Perth Avenue.
Flying Officer William Davis Smith lived at 232 Sterling Road with his parents (Mr. and Mrs. Walter J. Smith) when at age 18 he enlisted to fight in WW2. Officer Smith graduated from Bloor Collegiate Institute. He was just 21 years of age when he was killed in India while ferrying planes or supplies to China.
Miigwech -- thank you for your service.