On November 11, 2023, we honor the commitment and sacrifice of all veterans and their families who have served our country. And, as we consider Crow Canyon’s connection to the diverse ancestral Indigenous civilization, past and present, who inhabited and continue to inhabit the U.S. Southwest, we are reminded of the Native veterans, who served this country before they were granted U.S. citizenship, the right to vote, right to practice their spiritual beliefs, and other rights U.S. citizens possessed.
Crow Canyon educator Jon Ghahate shares a few facts about Native Americans and their service:
– Before Native Americans were granted U.S. citizenship and therefore could not be drafted, a significant number of Native Americans ‘volunteered’ to serve alongside the Allied Expeditionary Force a year before the U.S. formally entered World War I.
– Native Americans were not granted U.S. citizenship until 1924 despite having served in the multitude of conflicts, wars, and military efforts, before and after the United States was founded.
– Per capita, U.S. Census data has shown that Native Americans have had the highest participation in military service, before and since the inception of what is now referred to as the United States, in not only the defense of a country, but in defense of their homelands and those of those who came before.
– John Harrington (Chickasaw), Navy aviator and NASA astronaut, has flown in the International Space Station.
– Ben Nighthorse Campbell (Northern Cheyenne), an Air Force veteran, served in the U.S. Senate for the state of Colorado for more 60 years.