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National Native American Veterans Memorial
The National Native American Veterans Memorial at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
Native veterans dedicate long-overdue memorial in nation’s capital
Friday, November 11, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s a rainy day in the nation’s capital for the formal dedication of the National Native American Veterans Memorial.

The memorial is located on the grounds of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. It was completed in November 2020 but the COVID-19 pandemic meant only a virtual program took place at the time.

Now, more than 1,700 American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian veterans are expected to participate in Friday’s event, according to NMAI. The Native group will march along the National Mall, from the museum to the ceremony stage, located in front of the U.S. Capitol.

“The veterans procession and dedication ceremony will take place rain or shine,” NMAI states.

There are viewing areas on the National Mall for family members, friends and visitors. NMAI is broadcasting the event for those who aren’t in D.C. in person.

The livestream is scheduled to start at 2pm Eastern:

Following the dedication, a two-celebration of Native veterans will take place on Saturday and Sunday at NMAI. The memorial flame will be lit 5-6pm Eastern over the weekend, according to the museum.

For the full schedule of films and activities, visit:

The memorial is based on a design called “Warriors’ Circle of Honor” by artist Harvey Pratt, a veteran and citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes. His entry was chosen after a national competition.

“There’s a lot of facets to my design that I was hoping that that Native people would recognize,” Pratt said on Native America Calling on Tuesday.

“Early on I realized that Native people are the same — but we’re different,” he continued. “You know, we kind of have the same attitude about how you honor things, how you honor the earth, how you honor the spirits, how you honor the directions and the sacred.”

“You do that through ceremony and their traditions, and that’s how I approached it,” Pratt said of his design. “I would include all these different aspects of our ceremonies that somebody could always see that their tribe did that — you know, through sacred fires and water and the air and the earth, and the directions and the cardinal points and sacred colors.”

Congress authorized the memorial through H.R.2319, the Native American Veterans’ Memorial Amendments Act of 2013. The bill, which was signed into law by former president Barack Obama, ensured that the NMAI could start raising funds and begin work on the project.

The total cost of the effort, including outreach, the design competition, construction and an endowment, was previously estimated at $15 million. The memorial itself has been budgeted for $8 million of that amount.

American Indians and Alaska Natives serve in the military at the highest rates of any racial or ethnic group, according to U.S. government data.

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