October 18, 2017

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National Aboriginal Day Ceremony of Remembrance
National Aboriginal Day Ceremony of Remembrance
With the GG
Summer Solstice Pow wow

Welcome to the Aboriginal Veterans Autochtones

Welcome to the Aboriginal Veterans Autochtones.

The Aboriginal Veterans Autochtones (AVA) is a nationally incorporated organization that represents the interests of Canadian Aboriginal Veterans and serving members who are of Aboriginal descent. This fills the void left by the dissolution of the National Aboriginal Veterans Association.

Chief of the Defence Staff Joint Suicide Prevention Strategy Message

5 October 2017 - NDHQ Ottawa

Suicide is an issue we have been dealing with for a very long time. Like many of you, I've lost friends to suicide and it's gut-wrenching every time it happens. Every life that is lost, every career cut short, is a blow to our military family.

This is a complex problem. There is no quick or easy solution. But there are ways we can make it easier for those who are suffering in silence to get the help they need. This is what we're doing today with the Joint Suicide Prevention Strategy. We want to change the attitude around suicide and mental illness, and we'll do this in several ways.
First, resilience will continue to be a priority. Like with any other injury, prevention is our best line of defence. This means training and preparing you throughout your career for stressful and traumatic situations, so you can bounce back more quickly if you are injured or wounded.

If you do have a problem, you will get the help you need. Our medical system exists to treat you for any injury or wound you sustain—whether mental or physical, on deployment or at home. I will not tolerate any form of stigma or judgment levied against someone who has the courage to ask for help. I expect all CAF leaders to foster a culture of respect and compassion that puts the well-being of our people and their families first.

Don't let yourself, your friends, your family or your coworkers struggle alone. Just the act of reaching out could save a life.

Jonathan H. Vance
Chief of the Defence Staff

You're Not Alone

Additional information available on he following link:


Women in the Canadian Armed Forces

Backgrounder / March 7, 2017

March 7, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Women have been serving in Canada's military for over a century and today play a pivotal role in defending Canada's safety and security. The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) was one of the first military forces to allow women to serve in all occupations, and today is setting ambitious goals to increase representation across all trades and ranks. Our objective is that in ten years, one in four CAF members will be women.

In summary there are over 10,000 women presently serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, and thousands more who have since retired with long and distinguished careers. Many have served in theatre of war, assisted in the interception of drug busts and many more outstanding attributes that are too many to mention.
As I watched the opening ceremonies of the Invictus Games in Toronto it gave me great pride to be one of the numerous Aboriginal women veterans who have served our country for over 36 years, all the while, being married, raising a family and thankfully becoming a grandmother.

I wear my medals with pride at all veterans events and gatherings, and display my veterans plate on my car with pride.
It saddens my heart, when someone comes up to me when I am either entering or exiting my car and ask: "is your husband a veteran?" in my case, yes he is, but this is my car, my veterans plate.

In other cases, when wearing my medals, I am constantly asked: "Are those your father's medals?"
Now, I know that these individuals are well meaning and are showing interest, and are not meaning to be rude, or disrespectful, but I just want to pass one thing along for your readers to keep in mind:

If you see a woman sporting veterans plates on a car, or more importantly wearing medals on her jacket or in the case of an Aboriginal Woman Veteran, on her shawl, please do not automatically assume that they belong to someone else, the first question you should ask her is: Are you a veteran? And I guarantee that she will proudly say: Yes I Am!

Article for the Canadian Armed Forces

Debbie Eisan
CPO2 (Retired)

Debbie Eisan