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Native American Veteran and Canadian aboriginal veteran List.

boer war




Saw drawing title

51 Engaged.

4 dead in service.




Military ceremony 1899

On October 12, 1899, the South African War, or Boer War, began. This conflict was the culmination of several years of bitter conflict and wrangling, as Britain colonized and expanded their possessions in the Cape Colony and neighboring Bohemian Transvaal and Orange Free State states. . This expansion was strongly felt and resisted by Boer settlers.

Britain has secured support from Canada, New Zealand and Australia for their war effort. Although many English Canadians have supported the British cause in South Africa, French Canadians and many recent immigrants from countries other than Great Britain have not.

For the sake of maintaining national stability and political popularity, Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier did not want to engage his government. As a compromise, Laurier agreed to send a volunteer battalion to South Africa. Most of the Native Americans and Métis who participated were members of the various Canadian Mounted Rifles regiments.


One of the volunteers is Private Walter White, Huron Wendat of Anderdon, near Sarnia, Ontario. He enlisted in the 2nd Battalion (Special Service), Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry, and was part of the first contingent; he had previously been a sergeant-flag sergeant in the 21st Battalion of the Essex Fusiliers. Like many other volunteers for South Africa, he agrees to sacrifice his rank to enlist. Unfortunately, the 19-year-old is killed in action "within 20 meters of the Boer trenches and well before any other British soldier" at the Battle of Paardeberg in South Africa on February 18, 1900.



There is at least one attempt to include an Aboriginal unit in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. As early as 1892, an ohsweken company (Six Nations) of the 37th Haldimand Battalion of Rifles was assembled. However, attempts to transfer the militia company en bloc to one of the Canadian contingents recruited to fight in South Africa are unsuccessful. It is possible that the report of an Indian affairs officer who reports "rumors circulating in the North West that Indians want to join the Boer forces in the Transvaal" made the government fear that in the end In the end, the Indians did not use modern military training and organization against the State that they would have provided.

These rumors, based on complaints by indigenous community leaders complaining to Indian Affairs and Mounted Police officials, '' that a man with a German accent is urging our youth to fight for the Boers. ''

It should also be noted that many First World War officers in the Canadian Army were on active duty during the Boer War.