National Native American Veterans Memorial Design Competition

Selected Finalist is Harvey Pratt

The design concept submitted by Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne/Arapaho) titled, “Warriors’ Circle of Honor” is the unanimous selection for the National Native American Veterans Memorial. Groundbreaking is slated for Sept. 21, 2019, and dedication is planned for late 2020.

This decision was informed by over 35 consultations with Native American veterans throughout the country and 120 design submissions in an open blind competition.

This memorial carries the deep responsibility of educating across generations; respectfully acknowledging American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian veterans; and reminding all Americans of our national obligation to honor this inspired legacy.

I express my deep gratitude to everyone who has participated in this process, in particular the Stage Two finalists James Dinh, Dan Jones, Kelly Haney, Stefanie Rocknak, and Leroy Transfield. I am thankful for our members and advisors who shared their thoughts during consultation, public comment, and design submission. Your contributions have provided invaluable insight. We could not have gotten to this moment without you and we know that your continuing support will see this important endeavor through to completion.

Kevin Gover, Director
National Museum of the American Indian

Press Release
Jury Report


 

The Memorial

This permanent veterans memorial on the nation’s preeminent stage—the National Mall—will shed light on the countless Native American warriors who have given so much of themselves throughout history, and who continue to defend our nation today.

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Overlooking the United States Capitol Building
Looking east towards the U.S. Capitol from the museum's croplands, 2004. © Maxwell MacKenzie

We are a nation of patriots

Though we celebrate those who dedicate themselves to defending our nation, many Americans are unaware of the exceptional service performed by Native American veterans.

Taking up the charge given by Congress, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) will establish a National Native American Veterans Memorial in the heart of Washington, DC. When the memorial is unveiled, we will recognize for the first time on a national scale the enduring and distinguished service of Native Americans in every branch of the U.S. armed forces.


 

The Native American Women Warriors
The Native American Women Warriors lead the grand entry during a powwow in Pueblo, Colorado, June 14, 2014. From left: Sergeant First Class Mitchelene BigMan (Apsáalooke [Crow]/Hidatsa), Sergeant Lisa Marshall (Cheyenne River Sioux), Specialist Krissy Quinones (Apsáalooke [Crow]), and Captain Calley Cloud (Apsáalooke [Crow]), with Tia Cyrus (Apsáalooke [Crow]) behind them. The organization, founded by Mitchelene BigMan in 2012, raises awareness about Native American women veterans and provides support services in health, employment, and education. Photo by Nicole Tung

Our Heroes

Native Americans have participated in every major U.S. military encounter from the Revolutionary War through today’s conflicts in the Middle East. Contributions by Native Americans have saved lives, enabled our country’s victories, and exemplified the courage that defines American patriotism. Yet they remain unrecognized by any prominent landmark in our nation’s capital.

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Eagle-feather war bonnets adorn U.S. military uniform jackets
Eagle-feather war bonnets adorn U.S. military uniform jackets at a Ton-Kon-Gah (Black Leggings Society) ceremonial, held annually to honor Kiowa tribal veterans. Near Anadarko, Oklahoma, 2006. National Museum of the American Indian

We invite you to participate in this historic moment—for our country, for veterans, and for the Native American communities whose loyalty and passion have helped make America what it is today.

Kevin Gover (Pawnee)

Director, National Museum of the American Indian