A major exhibition at the Juno Beach Centre (JBC) in Normandy, France will feature poppies crafted by Métis, Inuit, and First Nations artists. The announcement was made Wednesday on National Indigenous Veterans Day that honours an estimated 12,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit Canadians who served during Canada's major wars and conflicts.More than 500 gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives.“The Juno Beach Centre is currently undertaking a major renewal of its Faces of Canada Today permanent exhibition space in time for the 80th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 2024,” said the JBC in a press release.“Faces of Canada Today seeks to unpack how the legacy of Canada’s involvement in the Second World War shaped the country we know today. Visitors will be invited to understand Canada as a modern nation shaped by resilience, service and remembrance.”“As visitors enter the gallery space, they will see 3,000 floating poppies suspended against the backdrop of floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over Juno Beach.”Beaded, sealskin, birchbark and quill poppies will be displayed along with the Royal Canadian Legion red poppies worn on Remembrance Day by Canadians to honour those who fought and died.The exhibition at Canada’s Second World War Museum will open in early February, said JBC spokesperson Louisa Simmons.On D-Day, June 6 1944, allied forces launched Operation Overlord — a victorious invasion of western Europe that was under Nazi occupation for four years — under the command of US Gen. Dwight Eisenhower.More than 156,000 Canadian, American and British troops landed on five beaches.More than 14,000 Canadians from the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and 2nd Canadian Armoured stormed Juno Beach. A total of 381 soldiers and airmen were killed, 574 wounded and 131 captured. Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members suffered 5,500 casualties during the entire Normandy Campaign.Almost 1.2 million Canadians served during the Second World War. Nearly 45,000 sacrificed their lives and 55,000 were wounded. That included more than 3,000 First Nations members, including 72 women and an unknown number of Inuit and Métis served. More than 200 died.They served in valuable roles as snipers, reconnaissance scouts and as legendary code talkers such as Alberta’s Charles Tomkins.'Checker' Tomkins translated sensitive radio messages into Cree, that enemy forces couldn’t decipher, to be translated into English by another code talker.The spectacular poppy exhibitions at the JBC (that originally opened in 2003) pays tribute to all who served.“These poppies are symbols of gratitude and respect for those who sacrificed to protect our collective freedom,” said Marissa Magneson, an Ontario Métis who created the beaded poppies.Crystal Gloade, of Nova Scotia’s Millbrook First Nation, created the birchbark and porcupine quill poppies.“I am blessed and honoured to create these poppies using natural resources from the land. They are symbols of remembrance of all veterans and those who lost their lives in service,” said Gloade.The sealskin poppies were created by Inuk, an Inuvialuk from the Northwest Territories.“Lest we forget our Inuit and indigenous Veterans. My poppies are made for them and their families. I walk with one foot in the old world and one in the new, and understand that we cannot change our past, but with every step forward we can learn and grow better together,” said Inuk.An estimated 2,700 First Nations, Metis and Inuit members currently serve in the CAF.