native american veterans
Still Fighting at Standing Rock
The national media has moved on, but the story is not over.

Rattler, 45, legal name Michael Markus, is one of six native activists facing near-unprecedented federal charges related to the Standing Rock protest camps against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The federal cases sit alongside hundreds and hundreds brought by state prosecutors, stemming from vast numbers of arrests made over the six months that the camps stood—a protest which at its height drew up to 15,000 participants from around the world and, for a short time, the dilettantish gaze of the mainstream media. The authorities razed the last major holdouts of the camps on February 23, by which point numbers had already dwindled as blizzard conditions pummeled the prairie lands. The camera crews packed up and most of the country went back to focusing on Trump.

Some ways to be patriotic today:

- Take a moment to read about the history of Native Americans, their beautiful and varied pre-colonisation societies, and their gradual extermination by white planters, frontiersmen and the US military.

- Consider putting those fireworks away for the evening, as many veterans who have returned home from far-away battlefields with PTSD report Independence Day celebrations can act as a trigger.

- Do something worthwhile to turn America into the place you want it to be: talk to your neighbours about how to solve a problem in your hood, join a workplace union, donate to Planned Parenthood.


Dr. Joe Medicine Crow, the last living Plains Indian war chief, died at the age of 102 on Sunday, April 3, 2016, family members confirmed.

Medicine Crow was born on October 27, 1913, near Lodge Grass.

The decorated WWII veteran and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom attended the University of Southern California where he earned a degree in anthropology in 1939. He is the first member of the Crow tribe to obtain a master’s degree.

In 2015, Billings school officials named the new middle school in the Heights “Medicine Crow Middle School,” which is currently under construction on the corner of Bench Boulevard and Barret Road. He also appeared for the ground breaking of the school’s construction.

Crow was a frequent guest speaker at Little Big Horn College and Little Big Horn Battlefield Museum, and has appeared in several documentaries about the battle.

He was also a historian and author of several books, and is best known for his writings and lectures concerning the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

School District 2 Superintendent Terry Bouck sent out a statement regarding Medicine Crow’s death:

“Today we learned of the Passing of Joe Medicine Crow. Dr. Medicine Crow was a patriot, scholar and the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Billings Public Schools is proud to honor Dr. Medicine Crow by naming the new Heights Middle School after him. Joe Medicine Crow’s "New House of Learning” will open in his honor in August of 2016, and we know that his words and deeds will influence all who walk through its halls.“

The National Park Service has more information about Medicine Crow, including this overview:

Born October 27, 1913 near Lodge Grass, Montana, Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow is the last living person with a direct oral history from a participant of the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876.

His grandfather, White Man Runs Him was a scout with General Custer and died in 1925 when Medicine Crow was 11 years old.

Dr. Medicine Crow’s grandparents lived before the United States Government sent Indians to a reservation in 1884. His father was a boyhood friend of Chief Plenty Coups and had advised Plenty Coups to go to the nation’s capital to present the Indians cases for preserving their ancestral land.

Indian Country Today Media Network provides this information about his earning the title of "war chief”:

Prior to WWII, Medicine Crow – who was the first of his tribe to graduate from college – was studying for an advanced degree in anthropology before volunteering for the Army and being sent to Europe.

It was on the European battlefields Medicine Crow completed all of the four tasks needed to become a Crow War Chief. As a scout he led several successful war parties deep behind enemy lines; he stole German horses; he disarmed an enemy; and he touched an enemy (counted coup) without killing him.

The last photo is Joe Medicine Crow’s grandfather, White Man Runs Him, who was a scout for Gen. George Armstrong Custer.


Throughout the world on November 11th, there are remembrances of military service and lives lost in conflicts and wars. Throughout the history of the United States, Native Americans have enlisted and fought in the armed services, facing challenges both on and off the battlefields. Learn about 20th century Native American veterans in this Weekend Edition piece from November 11, 2000.

Photo: Members of the Native American veterans of the Vietnam War stand in honor as part of the color guard at the Vietnam Veterans War memorial ceremony on Veterans Day 1990. Credit: Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images 


TYT Politics:  Veterans Ask Native Americans For Forgiveness At Standing Rock
First-ever Native American Honor Flight leaves Reno

The Southwest terminal at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport buzzed with nervous excitement early Thursday morning as a group of veterans got ready to board Battle Born Nevada One.

For the first time in the nation’s history, 43 veterans were traveling on an all-Native American Honor Flight.

Native American veterans from Nevada and California flew Thursday to Washington D.C. to visit the National Museum of the American Indian, attend the Veterans Day ceremony and place a sash on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Born in 1917 into the Montana Blackfeet tribe, Murray Williamson enlisted in the United States Army at Fort Missoula, Montana, on March 28, 1941.

Nearly four years later, Technical Sergeant Williamson, with the 161st Infantry 25th Division, was killed in action on January 19, 1945, during the opening days of the Battle of Luzon.  

He was interred in the Fort William McKinley Cemetery, today known as the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the #Philippines. He was 27 years old.

This photo comes from Record Group 75 Blackfeet Agency holdings in the National Archives at Denver​. This record group is  a small collection of photographs; young Blackfeet soldiers, Marines, and sailors who all served in WWII. Murray Williamson was one of them.
Thousands of Navajo veterans living in substandard conditions as promised aid falls short

From the Los Angeles Times:

Nearly 9,000 military veterans live on the reservation that straddles the New Mexico-Arizona border, more than half of them in what the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says is substandard housing. For years, few funds were allocated for reservation housing for veterans, and much of what was allocated did not reach its intended targets because of mismanagement, U.S. and tribal officials say. Federal veterans’ home loan guarantees cannot be used to build homes on tribal land.

Read the full story here.



Retired Navy Chief Petty Officer Old Horn-Purdy, from the Crow tribe, took part in the annual Veterans Appreciation and Heritage Day in South Gate, California.

(DoD photo by Marvin Lynchard, 8 NOV 2014. Article by Shannon Collins, 28 NOV 2014.)

The head woman dancer at a recent Native American Veterans Association pow-wow is a retired sailor who helped blaze the path for women in the Navy.

Retired Navy Chief Petty Officer Old Horn-Purdy, from the Crow tribe, took part in the annual Veterans Appreciation and Heritage Day Nov. 8-9, 2014. She was one of the first females in the Navy to serve on a combatant ship.

Long before she ever set out to sea, however, Horn-Purdy’s journey began on the Crow Agency reservation in Montana. 

“I grew up around very traditional grandparents, and my father would pass down stories. We had oral history,” she said. “They would teach us from our ancestors. Nothing was written down. I grew up knowing some of my language, but my first language was English. I went to school off the reservation, so I lived in both worlds.”

She said it was a culture shock when she went to the school off the reservation, but she had to adapt.

Military Benefits

Horn-Purdy said she joined the military for the benefits, such as education, training and travel.

“I needed a place to sleep, something to eat and, for me, that was good enough,” she said, adding that she wanted to “learn, that was the main reason."  She said she can relate to other military people coming from other countries who are just glad to have some place to sleep, eat and work.

When she got to her ship in 1985, she found out she was among the first group of women on her deployed ship. Then, in 1999, she found out that she was to be among the first group of women on a combatant ship.

"It was hard, but we had to adapt if we wanted to continue and learn and do our job,” she said. She was in engineering but wasn’t allowed to call herself a machinist at that time. She said that, at her three-year mark in service, the career field opened up to women.

One of the First

“I ended up becoming a machinist, one of the first women in there,” she said. “I ended up advancing quickly through that because not too many people wanted to be in there. I don’t know if it was because I was naïve or young, but I used to think, ‘I’m going to be tough. I’m Indian. I’m going to make it.’ It was hard to learn the theories and engineering principles. I’m thankful for the co-workers who helped me through it. It was hard, but I got through it.

"I’m appreciative of those particular men who would look beyond my race and gender and would try to teach me and help me to think the way I should think so I have a lot to be thankful for. They helped me learn,” she said.

Serving in the military is also a Native American tradition. Her paternal grandfather, Allen Old Horn served in the Army in World War II and her maternal grandfather, George Thompson, was in the Navy in World War II. Her great uncles Barney and Henry Old Coyote were code talkers in World War II, and great-grandfather James Red Fox was also one in World War I.

Old Horn-Purdy said her father, Sarge Old Horn Sr., encouraged her throughout her time in the military and is proud of her time in the uniform.

Since the Beginning

She said Native Americans have defended America since the beginning.

“Native Americans weren’t given medals or accolades that we get now for defending America,” she said. “But we still have to protect America, no matter what. It’s in our blood.”

She encourages people to attend pow wows in their communities to learn more about Native American culture.

“You don’t have to be Indian to be at a pow-wow,” she said. “Many people don’t know anything about Indians so it’s great to educate them about us, because Indians have a different viewpoint and different stories. It’s good for people to learn and see what we’re all about.”

During World War I, over 12,000 American Indians served in the armed forces of the United States. In the army, they served as gunners, snipers, patrol workers, messengers, scouts, medical personnel, radio operators, and code talkers.

American Indians were integrated into numerous divisions of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF).  A few units, however, like Company E of the 36th Division, were all Indian.

This drawing, found by a volunteer, shows the symbolism of the 36th Division’s insignia, adopted in January 1919.  The letter “T” represents Texas and the arrow head represents Oklahoma. Because the Division was made up of officers and men formerly of the National Guards of Texas and Oklahoma, its official name became “The Lone Star Division.”


June 2nd 1924: Indian Citizenship Act

On this day in 1924, the Indian Citizenship Act was signed into law by President Calvin Coolidge. This act, proposed by Representative Homer Snyder (R - NY), conferred citizenship on all Native Americans born in the United States. After decades of brutal Indian warfare, the 1870s had seen an attempt to establish a Peace Policy, which intended to start Native Americans on a route to citizenship. However, indigenous Americans were explicitly excluded from national citizenship in the Fourteenth Amendment of 1868. Several developments were made towards citizenship in the next few decades, including being extended to Native American World War One veterans in 1919. Despite the passage of the 1924 act, many Native Americans continued to be denied suffrage until 1948.

Donald Trump hates Hispanics, Asians, women, Muslims, blacks, Native Americans, veterans, gays, and God knows who else. The sole group of people he is cool with? Low IQ Fox News-watching hillbillies.  And, shockingly, they’re also the only ones voting for him.

anonymous asked:

as a native american the veteran apology literally made me cry like i am so happy?????

That was seriously so amazing to watch, I can only imagine how that must have felt for you to see. <3