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History
Minnesota National Guard
The Minnesota National Guard celebrates
Native American Heritage


The Minnesota National Guard celebrates Native American Heritage.  American Indians have eagerly served in the military for more than 200 years, in spite of a government which did not always keep its word to their ancestors.  As early as the 18th century, American Indians were recognized by American military leaders. General George Washington in 1778 stated he thought the American Indians would be great scouts and light troops. Since then, American Indians have been involved in every war since the War of 1812. During the Vietnam War, more than 90 percent of American Indians were volunteers.

While there are few circumstances of documented overt prejudice while in uniform, Navajo Code Talkers were sometimes mistaken by their own men for Japanese soldiers. But as one code talker recalled, Navajos had a chance to prove wrong the bigots back home; the military prized them for speaking their own language. For many American Indian veterans, the honor of defending their country overrode all other considerations. Currently, American Indians have the highest record of service per capita in comparison to other ethnic groups. It is deeply rooted in their culture to serve their country and they value a proud warrior tradition. At the end of the 20th century there were almost 190,000 American Indian Veterans.

Veterans Day and Thanksgiving are two popular holidays celebrated every year in the month of November. During this month of November, let's take time to reminisce and be grateful to our American Indian service members who have contributed to the success of the United States of America and its military.



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Tribal consultations continue Camp Ripley on positive path for the future
05/31/2016

Exercise tests communications among response agencies
10/30/2015

Minnesota brothers reunite in Kuwait
09/16/2014

LAX-4-LIFE partnership teaches Lacrosse, leadership and life skills to Native American Youth
07/31/2013

2013 Native American Lax-4-Life Camp
07/23/2013

Native American LAX-4-LIFE Camp Update: Story, photos and b-roll video available
07/31/2012

National Guard supports Native American youth at lacrosse camp
07/27/2012

Native American LAX-4-LIFE Camp Partnership
07/20/2012

Minnesota National Guard joins the Nation in observing American Indian Heritage Month
08/20/2011

Returning vets of color face unique challenges
07/05/2010

Camp Ripley hosts Nation to Nation event
10/11/2005



Helpful Links

Historical moments of Native Americans in service

American Indian Heritage Foundation

Bureau of Indian Affairs






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Latest News

Camp Ripley drives on with rebuild

Posted: 2016-12-02  01:01 PM
Camp Ripley storm damage CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Following a damaging storm last fall, Camp Ripley and the Minnesota National Guard set plans in motion for the rebuilding of housing and maintenance structures on the installation.

"The replacement strategy for outdated and damaged buildings is integrated into our long-range development plan to ensure Camp Ripley is able to meet future mission requirements," said Deputy Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Chad Sackett.

The location of Camp Ripley was selected in 1929 by Minnesota's Adjutant General, Ellard Walsh, in order to replace the small, outmoded 200-acre training camp in southern Minnesota created in 1888.



Chef Challenge serves up for military and community

Posted: 2016-11-30  02:51 PM
Mall of America BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Minnesota National Guard food service specialists competed for "Top Chef" at the Nov. 11 Veterans Day Chef Challenge at the Mall of America.

To celebrate Veterans Day the Mall of America, Star Tribune and Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Network teamed up to host the ultimate Chef Challenge pairing Minnesota National Guard personnel with chefs from restaurants located at the Mall of America.

"It was a unique situation and lots of fun," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Paul Erickson of Camp Ripley, who was entered as one of the competitors for the first round of the competition.



Uncovering the past at Camp Ripley

Posted: 2016-11-16  12:03 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. -Archaeologists from Commonwealth Heritage Group out of Milwaukee, Wis., concluded phase I inventory surveys Nov. 4, 2016, at Camp Ripley.

The surveys help to identify lands possibly used as settlements on the Camp Ripley reservation, how they connect to the surrounding areas and if they hold any significant historical value.

"Some of the same lands that Camp Ripley uses for the training of our Service members and inter-agency partners, were once settlements dating back hundreds of years," said Patrick Neumann, Cultural Resources manager at Camp Ripley.



Camp Ripley preserves, protects environmental and cultural resources

Posted: 2016-11-09  12:33 PM
Camp Ripley Environmental CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The environmental team at Camp Ripley continues to be proud of their reputation for conserving the natural and cultural resources of central Minnesota.

Additionally, the team supports unit readiness through research, guidance and implementation of sustainable, environmentally-responsible practices.

"Since the increase in operational tempo, over the past few decades, the need for usable training lands became a significant demand for military and emergency response agencies," said Jay Brezinka, Environmental Supervisor with the Minnesota National Guard. "The role of the Environmental Office has been critical in accommodating the needs of the military mission while mitigating possible impacts on our natural resources."



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