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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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

The Minnesota National Guard hosts its first Joint Female Professional Development Training Symposium

Posted: 2015-04-16  05:26 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn.- More than 300 hundred Minnesota National Guard women will gather together for the first Joint Female Professional Development Training Symposium at Metropolitan State University on April 18, 2015.

"The day is going to be packed full of growth and development opportunities for skills advancement, communication/networking, career mapping, being a leader and competing in the arena," said Lt. Col. Barb Pazdernik, event coordinator.

Approximately 20 percent of Minnesota National Guard soldiers and airmen are women. With more than 13,000 members, it's no secret that more males are in leadership positions - but solutions are in place to change that.



Minnesota 'Purples Up' for Military Children

Posted: 2015-04-15  03:00 PM
Minnesota Military Radio Since 1986, the Department of Defense has celebrated April as the "Month of the Military Child", a recognition of the courage of and sacrifices made by children of military parents. More than 1.7 million American children under the age of 18 have at least one parent serving in the military many of whom have deployed several times.

"Month of the Military Child is great here in Minnesota," said the Minnesota National Guard's Family Programs Director Army Capt. Marian Belinski during a recent interview on Minnesota Military Radio. "We have phenomenal support from the government officials to our military leadership and the community in general."



Statewide Joining Community Forces - Minnesota events provide support for communities and military

Posted: 2015-04-14  08:53 AM
Joining Community Forces ST. PAUL, Minn. - "Each year Joining Community Forces events strengthen the synchronization of effort across the state in sharing resources and building partnerships in support of military-connected residents." said Minnesota National Guard Director of Military Outreach, Annette Kuyper.

Registration closes Wednesday, April 15, for both afternoon and evening meetings that are scheduled for Albert Lea on April 23; Alexandria on April 30; Willmar on May 7; Cloquet on May 14; and Richfield on May 20.

"These meetings are important to the Yellow Ribbon Networks because it allows them to learn about how other communities are connecting with Service members, veterans and military families as well as how to connect with resources they can tap into to support them," said Kuyper.



Minnesota National Guard recognizes April as sexual assault awareness month

Posted: 2015-04-13  03:49 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program is working to increase intervention and ensure leaders at all levels are supportive of victims of sexual assault.

"We all joined the military for a reason and part of that underlying reason," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jennifer Diaz, the Minnesota National Guard Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. "I think with a majority of people, you're here to keep people safe and defend people, so why wouldn't you put that into play with the people that you work next to every day?"

Intervention can play a key role in not just stopping sexual assaults as they are happening, but also stopping a situation before it escalates to the point of sexual assault. All Soldiers and Airmen in the Minnesota National Guard are taught to watch out for each other and to intervene when a situation seems to be inappropriate or when a person may be at risk.

"Intervening in something is very hard because we're in a time now where people tend to think, 'Well, just mind your own business, it doesn't concern you'," said Diaz. "So it's really just trying to get that comfort level up with anybody to be able to stop something that they think might not be right."



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