News Releases

National Museum of the American Indian To Host Veterans Day Program Honoring Native American Service in the U.S. Armed Forces

Program Includes New Exhibition, Announcement of a National Native American Veterans Memorial and Symposium of War Stories

October 27, 2016

The strength, courage and dedication of Native warriors will be honored and remembered Friday, Nov. 11, for Veterans Day, in a colorful, inspiring set of presentations, a new exhibition, major announcements and a symposium of war stories from World War II, Korea and Vietnam at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Few non-Natives outside the military community know that Native Americans have participated in higher numbers per capita than any other ethnic group in every major U.S. conflict since the Revolutionary War.

The Veterans Day schedule features:

10 a.m.: The exhibition “For a Love of His People: The Photography of Horace Poolaw” opens to the public. A section of the exhibition is dedicated to images of community and war, with images spanning the World War II, Korea and Vietnam eras.

11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.: Native American Women Warriors will perform an honor guard presentation. The group was created to raise awareness of women veterans, especially those of Native American descent, and their contributions to the military.

1 p.m. (following presentation of colors): Chickasaw Nation Lt. Gov. Jefferson Keel will announce the building of a National Native American Veterans Memorial on the grounds of the museum. The memorial is poised to be completed by Veterans Day 2020.

1:10 p.m.: Sandra Evers-Manly, Northrop Grumman Corp. vice president of global corporate responsibility and president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation, will announce a major gift on behalf of the corporation in support of the building of the National Native American Veterans Memorial. Keel, who co-chairs the memorial’s advisory committee, will accept the gift on behalf of the museum.

2 p.m.: In conjunction with the opening of “For a Love of His People,” the museum will present a symposium, “Valor in Black and White: War Stories of Horace Poolaw.” Decorated U.S. Marine Corps veteran Robert “Corky” Poolaw and Linda Poolaw (two of Horace Poolaw’s four children, both Kiowa/Delaware) will discuss Poolaw’s photography, with particular attention to his pictures on the subject of American Indians and the military. Poolaw’s grandson, contemporary multimedia artist Thomas Poolaw, will join the conversation with an exploration of his grandfather’s work and reflection on his artistic and cultural legacy. The museum’s Alexandra Harris (Cherokee) will moderate; book signing of the exhibition catalog, For a Love of His People: The Photography of Horace Poolaw, follows with the Poolaw family. The book, which includes more than 150 never-before-published photographs, will be available for purchase at the museum store.

For more details about the National Museum of the American Indian, visit AmericanIndian.si.edu. Follow the museum via social media on Facebook, its Twitter accounts for Washington and New York and Instagram

# # #

SI-564-2016

Media only  
Eileen Maxwell 
202-633-6615 
maxwelle@si.edu

Lisa M. Austin 
202-633-6613 
austinl@si.edu

miltary uniforms draped with eagle feather bonnets
Related photos: 

Veterans Day

Black and white photo of powwow

© 2014 Estate of Horace Poolaw. Reprinted with permission

Powwow at Lone Bear’s dance ground. Carnegie, Oklahoma, ca. 1945. 45POW55. © 2014 Estate of Horace Poolaw. Reprinted with permission.

Related photos: 

Veterans Day

Gus Palmer and Horace Poolaw in front of aircraft

© 2014 Estate of Horace Poolaw. Reprinted with permission.

Gus Palmer (Kiowa, at left), side gunner, and Horace Poolaw (Kiowa), aerial photographer, in front of a B-17 Flying Fortress. MacDill Field, Tampa, Florida, ca. 1944. 45UFL14. © 2014 Estate of Horace Poolaw. Reprinted with permission.

Related photos: 

Veterans Day

Women in native dress

Nicole Tung

The Native American Women Warriors lead the grand entry during a powwow in Pueblo, Colorado, June 14, 2014.

Related photos: 

Veterans Day

Kiowa veterans memorial

National Museum of the American Indian

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



DCSIMG