After years of ignoring the contributions of Native veterans, Canada is finally about to settle up. It isn’t nearly the same amount that non-Natives received in return for their tours of duty in Canada’s wars.

A national round table convened in February 2002 said that First Nations veterans who served in the Second World and Korean wars should receive compensation payments of $120,000 because of unfair treatment and denied benefits. The federal government though is issuing cheques of just $20,000, far short of the recommendation.

The federal government said it is mailing out $14 million and in doing so will settle 704 claims by Native veterans or their surviving relatives.

The Assembly of First Nations has always said that First Nations veterans fought to protect Canada and its interests and they were betrayed by the system.