World Wars Aboriginal Veterans Portal

Daniel Velarde -
Wampum Records -


The World Wars Aboriginal Veterans Portal (WWAVP) is a community-driven initiative to collect and digitize surviving information about the estimated 12,000 aboriginal (Inuit, Metis, and First Nations) people who served in Canada's armed forces during the First and Second World Wars.

With a generous grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage, the WWAVP is being developed in collaboration with Wampum Records, a leading aboriginal issues research organization. Wampum Records will facilitate the collection and digitization of records and biographical information from trusted sources for transfer into's online platform, which will allow free worldwide educational use. The first version of this platform is expected in mid-2016.

Unlike traditional digitization initiatives, the WWAVP will focus on material still held by aboriginal individuals or communities (family photographs, diaries, letters, or other documents relating to the veterans' experiences), not official documents found in the major archives. Interested groups individuals can get involved by helping to enrich and expand our knowledge base of descriptive information (metadata) about each veteran.

This rich metadata will allow users to query, filter, and data mine the resources using a variety of fields, including geographical locations, nation or band, and service record. Supporting digitized documents contributed by the community will be published under a Creative Commons licence, allowing users to download, reproduce and distribute the material with minimal restrictions.