“Why We Serve: Native Americans in the United States Armed Forces” is currently on view. This new traveling exhibition highlights the generations of Native Americans who have served in the United States military.
Native people have served for the same reasons as anyone else: to demonstrate patriotism or pursue employment, education, or adventure. Many were drafted, but tribal warrior traditions, treaty commitments with the United States, and responsibility for defending Native homelands have also inspired the enduring legacy of Indigenous military service.
“Why We Serve” commemorates the National Native American Veterans Memorial, dedicated at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. The 16-panel exhibition is on loan from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian through June 2021.