The First World War affected Native communities in much the same way it did non-Native communities. Approximately 35 per cent of Native men eligible for service enlisted, with the commensurate casualty rate that resulted from the carnage in the European trenches. Approximately 4,000 Natives served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, many finding enlistment an appropriate expression of the warrior spirit of their forefathers. While serving, Natives benefited from all of the privileges of Canadian citizenship, including voting rights, but after returning home found that these rights were once again unavailable to them. Many veterans also found reserve lands substantially reduced, if only temporarily, as the government expropriated considerable farm acreage to enhance production to aid the war effort. Several bands raised substantial funds for the Red Cross, in spite of having band money used to purchase equipment for the "Greater Production" farms carved out of Prairie reserve lands.

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Chinook Multimedia


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