National Museum of the American Indian Smithsonian, Native American Heritage Month Honoring Veterans!
Native American Heritage Month is an opportunity to recognize and honor the many contributions of Indigenous communities to our world. And with Veteran’s Day approaching,we want to honor Native Americans who have served in the United States armed forces—in great numbers—since the American Revolution.
Despite this 250-year legacy of heroism and sacrifice, Native American military service went, for far too long, unrecognized at the national level.But thanks to the generosity of members and friends like you,we opened theNational Native American Veterans Memorialto the public on November 11, or Veterans Day, 2020.
And in two days, the museum will pay tribute to our nation’s long unsung Native American heroes through the formal dedication of the memorial, including a ceremony, which will be livestreamed, and a procession along the National Mall in Washington, DC, and a host of special events.
In partnership with Native veterans and their families, tribal communities, and veterans’ organizations,we are contributing to the evolving national narrative about Native American service,specifically as it intersects with contemporary Native American life and communities. Newly created programming and interpretation will establish a foundation of sustainable, ongoing conversations about historical memory and present-day circumstances so that more people can learn of their sacrifice.
Today, more than 31,000 Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Alaska Natives serve on active duty, and more than 140,000 veterans identify as Native. The memorial, designed by artist and veteran Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne and Arapaho), is a tribute to the tens of thousands of Native Americans who have served with pride for the U.S. in every major military conflict since its founding—as well as the loved ones who have supported them along the way.
Your support ensures the museum can continue honoring Native veteransduring Native American Heritage Month with one-of-a-kind tributes like the upcoming memorial dedication.
By joining the museum today, you’ll support the museum’s mission to foster a richer shared human experience through a more informed understanding of Native peoples.
We are grateful for your generosity—and for helping us celebrate Native American heritage this month and all year long!