The jury has unanimously selected the design concept for the National Native American Veterans Memorial to be built on the grounds of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall. The concept selected is by Oklahoman Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne/Arapaho), an acclaimed multi-media artist, a Marine Corps Vietnam War veteran, and an internationally renowned forensic artist. His design concept, titled “Warriors’ Circle of Honor,” is multi-sensory, the centerpiece of which is an elevated stainless steel circle resting on an intricately carved stone drum. Listen to Pratt describe his design concept in detail.
Background: Few outside the military know that Native Americans serve at a higher rate per capita than any other population group and have served willingly since the American Revolution. Congress commissioned the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian to build a National Native American Veterans Memorial to give “all Americans the opportunity to learn of the proud and courageous tradition of service of Native Americans in the Armed Forces of the United States.”
Quote from museum director: “Through meeting thousands of Native American veterans, I learned most of all about the commitment these veterans have to the well-being of the United States,” said Kevin Gover (Pawnee), director of the museum. “These veterans were perfectly aware that they were serving a country that had not kept its commitments to Native people, and yet they chose—and are still choosing—to serve. This reflects a very deep kind of patriotism. I can think of no finer example of service to the United States and the promise it holds.” Pratt’s design concept embodies this very deep kind of patriotism.
(Image and press release via National Museum of the American Indian)