First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples tackle some of the most challenging and rewarding jobs in the Forces. They are part of dynamic teams of skilled professionals and leaders.
Many Aboriginal people have taken advantage of the education and training opportunities that the Forces offer, like paid college and university programs. As a result, they have become exceptional leaders in every field of the Forces, from engineers and physiotherapists, to technicians and systems specialists.
A career in the Forces is more than just a job. It is an opportunity to make a difference in Canada and in other parts of the world. It is a chance to be a part of a history of service and a community of people dedicated to preserving peace and security.
We work with Aboriginal communities, leaders and veterans to raise awareness of all a military career has to offer. Through our “CF Experience” programs, you will work and train with the Forces for a specific period of time, and experience the lifestyle, without the commitment to joining the Forces.
The Forces offers three experience programs for Aboriginal Peoples :
- Aboriginal Leadership Opportunity Year
- Summer Training Programs
- Canadian Forces Aboriginal Entry Program
For information about these programs, please click on the PROGRAMS tab above.
Please note: participants in these programs are not obligated to join the Forces.
Our “CF Experience” programs introduce you to the type of work we do, the way we train and how we live, without joining the Forces for your whole career. At the end of the program, you may choose to apply to the Forces. You will gain the leadership, work skills, and dedication to be successful in whatever path you choose.
There are specific conditions for applying to each of the programs. However, for all of the programs you MUST:
- Be an Aboriginal Person (First Nation(s) Status or Non-Status, Métis or Inuit);
- Be a Canadian citizen;
- Be at least 17 years of age (with parental/guardian consent) or older;
- Must have completed Grade10 or Quebec Secondaire IV;
- Meet the Forces common enrolment medical standard.
You may apply to the CF Aboriginal Entry Program at any time during the year. When filling out the online application, indicate you are interested in CFAEP under “Program Choices.”
A Proud History
Each time there has been a need, Canada’s Aboriginal soldiers have overcome cultural challenges and made impressive sacrifices and contributions to restore world peace. Aboriginal peoples were valuable allies to the British during the American Revolution of 1775, the War of 1812 and in South Africa during the Boer War. Thousands of Aboriginal men and women served during both World Wars, the Korean War and Gulf War.
In WWI, many became snipers or reconnaissance scouts, drawing upon traditional hunting and military skills, including Inuit sniper John Shiwak, and Ojibway snipers Johnson Paudash and Francis Pegahmagabow. Pegahmagabow was also highly decorated for bravery and selflessness in battle. Many won citations for their bravery, including Tommy Prince whose daring repair of a phone wire behind enemy lines, in plain view of the enemy in the midst of a battle, led to him becoming the most highly decorated First Nations soldier in the Canadian Forces. He received numerous citations and medals over his career for acts of bravery in both WWII and the Korean War. Mary Greyeyes-Reid paved the way for generations of Aboriginal women to serve Canada by becoming the first Aboriginal woman to join the Canadian Forces in 1942. By the end of WWII, 25 Aboriginal women had served in the women’s divisions of the Army, Navy and Air Force.
A national monument was unveiled on National Aboriginal Day, June 21, 2001 to recognize the sacrifices and contributions of Aboriginal Veterans. It stands in downtown Ottawa, steps from the National War Memorial. Reflecting traditional beliefs about honour, duty, and harmony with the environment, the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument is made of bronze and stone and was designed by First Nations artist Lloyd Pinay. At the centre of the monument, two human figures holding weapons and two holding spiritual items represent various Aboriginal groups. They convey a sense of balance, implying that a desire for peace often lies at the root of war. The four animals surrounding them - the wolf, grizzly, buffalo and elk - represent spirit guides. A golden eagle, with wings outstretched, perches above the animal and human figures. A messenger between the Creator and humans, the eagle embodies the spirit of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada.