Few people know that Native Americans serve the U.S. armed forces at higher rates per capita than any other ethnic group and have since the American Revolution. That is about to change. On Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian will begin accepting entries for designs for a National Native American Veterans Memorial on the National Mall. The international competition is open to all; architects, artists, designers, students and anyone else who wants to submit a design. Entries will be accepted until 3 p.m. EST Jan. 9, 2018.
Congress commissioned the National Museum of the American Indian in 2012 to honor Native American servicemen and women with a prominent memorial on the grounds of the museum located on the National Mall, a place that draws nearly 24 million visitors annually to the nation’s capital. Since then, the museum has been working with Native American veterans, tribal leaders, historians and cultural experts to consult on the needs that the memorial should express.
In 2015, the museum established an advisory committee composed of Native American leaders and veterans. Co-chaired by former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (Northern Cheyenne) and Chickasaw Nation Lt. Gov. Jefferson Keel, the museum began consulting American Indian Nations across the country to gather input and support. Campbell, a Korean War veteran, is one of the few