With Memorial Day Weekend upon us, we would like to take an opportunity to reflect upon the personal sacrifices our men and women have made in the defense of this country for countless generations. The warrior instinct and responsibility never left our people following colonization. In fact, American Indians have been and continue to be have the highest rate of service per capita than any other ethnic group.
(Photo to right: George Kiger, WWII Veteran)
In World War II, more than 40,000 American Indians left their homes and communities to defend the country that had only recently granted citizenship to Native people. Today, there are over 190,000 American Indian veterans according to US Military records. So why do our men and women serve in such large numbers? That answer lies within our culture and belief systems. Our young men and women continue the warrior traditions of their ancestors and responsibility of protecting our homeland.
We would ask that you all join us today and tomorrow to stop and take the time to pray for our brothers and sisters who have given their life in service of our protection. Additionally as we have many of our family overseas fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, please pray for their safe return home.
(Photos below: Camille Billiot, WWII Veteran and his grandson Jacob Billiot, Afghanistan Veteran)
In 2011, the UHN began a registry to track tribal veterans both living and deceased. If you are a veteran or active duty military or have a family member that you would like to include in the registry, please complete the form below and submit online for inclusion.