Statement by NCAI President Fawn Sharp on Veterans Day

Published on Nov 10, 2019

On this day, the National Congress of American Indians joins all Americans in honoring all those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. We recognize the dedication and sacrifice of our military, both Native and non-Native service members alike, who have defended our freedoms.

This day also holds special meaning to American Indian and Alaska Native communities as Native peoples have a long history of distinguished service to this country. As the nation’s first inhabitants, our people have always protected our homelands. Our love for these lands, our communities, and our ways of life is a part of who we are; it is a part of what we protect and continue to fight for. Our cultures proudly uplift and honor the place of warriors in our communities. We recognize them first as esteemed members of our community, they open our ceremonies and gatherings, and they carry the flags of our nations. We hold our veterans in the highest regard and eagerly anticipate the opening of the National Native American Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 2020.

However, just as we acknowledge the tremendous sacrifice asked of our military, we must also reaffirm our responsibility to provide for our veterans’ well-being. NCAI is committed to the continued advocacy for healthcare, housing, and other benefits that Native veterans have earned for their service.

This Veterans Day, I ask that all of Indian Country join NCAI in extending our sincerest gratitude and respect to veteran service members and their families who have pledged the ultimate sacrifice. To all members of the U.S. Armed forces, we salute you and thank you for your service.

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