Coercion / Deception in Metis Enlistment for World War One


Primary source interviews indicate that Metis individuals were coerced or deceived in order to recruit enlistments for the First and Second World Wars. Metis man Pierre Vandale describes the process by which Metis men were lied to and plied with alcohol in order to better solicit recruits during the First World War. Metis woman Caroline Vandale believes that a lack of education contributed to her brother's vulnerability and/or susceptibility to use of deception in obtaining consent to enlist. She notes that she thinks that such deception occurred on a larger scale, resulting in a number of Metis individuals being recruited in this way. As lack of education amongst Metis was widespread in this time period, it is possible that this led to their being targeted for recruitment using deceptive means.

Coercion and deception are unethical means of obtaining war recruits, a strategy which is reported to have been used to recruit Indigenous men for the First and Second World Wars. As well, war experience frequently results in psychological traumatization which can vary in severity, and can potentially lead to the development of post-traumatic stress symptoms. Unresolved trauma and/or PTSD can impact an individual's ability to execute the requirements of daily functioning, such as maintaining employment or providing a beneficial home environment.