National Native American Veterans Memorial
Tens of thousands of Native Americans have served this country in every major military conflict since its founding. 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.
In light of this history, Congress charged the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian with creating the National Native American Veterans Memorial. A vision for the memorial came together in meetings with Native veterans and communities throughout the United States: The memorial will honor all Native American veterans, from all eras and all branches of the armed forces; recognize the great sacrifices made and support given by the families of those who serve; reflect Native spirituality; and be a place for healing.
The memorial honors the commitment and bravery of Native American service members who served in the U.S. Armed Forces, often paying with their lives—the ultimate sacrifice of many American families. It also recognizes the Native people who served in all capacities beyond war, including humanitarian and peacekeeping operations.