OTTAWA, ONTARIO, May 22, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) --The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, is proud to unveil the commemorative War of 1812 medal for the 44 First Nation and Metis communities with a heritage linked to the War of 1812.
"Today I am pleased to unveil this medal as part of the commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812," said Minister Duncan. "Carrying forward the medal tradition to the present day gives us an opportunity to honour and recognize the contributions of Aboriginal people to our military history."
At the end of the War of 1812, military banners and medals were presented to Aboriginal groups who had fought alongside British forces. While the banners were generally awarded by the British Army, 'King George medals' were issued by the government as symbolic acts of gratitude and recognition to the Crown's Aboriginal allies. In order to strengthen the recognition of Aboriginal efforts, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada has developed commemorativeWar of 1812medals (pictured).
Today's announcement builds on the February 10th announcement by the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, of a number of initiatives developed to support the Government of Canada's effort to mark the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812. Among these initiatives was the announcement of a War of 1812 Commemorative Banner that will be presented to First Nation and Metis communities, as well as Canadian Forces units, formations and establishments whose heritage embraces service in the War of 1812.
The 1812 Commemorative Banner and Medal Ceremony for First Nation and Metis communities will take place later in 2012 to help mark the 200th Anniversary of theWar of 1812, an important milestone in the lead-up to the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation in 2017.