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Did You Know: Native Veterans

Published: November 8, 2019
Grantee Resources
Fact Sheet
did you know, Native Veterans

The Administration for Native Americans proudly supports Native veterans across the United States and its territories through our discretionary grant funding. To all who have or are currently serving in the armed services, we at ANA thank you and your family for your brave and selfless service and sacrifice.

Here are some fast facts about Native veterans that you may not know:

  1.  Did you know ANA grants can be used to fund projects for Native veterans? Read more about our ANA funding opportunities here. ANA grantee, the Trickster Art Gallery, is promoting traditional ceremonies for Native veterans while supporting their road to wellness through storytelling. They are an example of how ANA grant funding can be used to address the needs of Native veterans through community based projects reflective of cultural values and activities. Trickster also hosts the largest annual gathering of Native veterans.
  2. Most people have heard of the Code Talkers. Did you know that during WWII, Marine Corps leadership selected 29 Navajo men, the Navajo Code Talkers, who created a code based on the complex, unwritten Navajo language? The code primarily used word association by assigning a Navajo word to key phrases and military tactics. This system enabled the Code Talkers to translate three lines of English in 20 seconds, not 30 minutes as was common with existing code-breaking machines. Read more about the Navajo Code Talkers here.
  3. Did you know the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian will establish a National Native American Veterans Memorial on its grounds, in the heart of Washington, DC, as commissioned by Congress? Situated on the National Mall to be unveiled in November 2020, the memorial will honor American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian veterans and symbolize the country’s respect for Native Americans’ service and patriotism.
  4. Did you know according to a 2017 survey, there are 141,494 American Indian and Alaska Native veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces?
  5. Did you know Native Americans have served in the U.S. Armed Forces since the American Revolution and Native women continue to serve at one of the highest per capita rates in the country (11.7% vs. 8.4%, respectively)?
  6. Did you know the American Indian and Alaska Native Veteran cohort served in the Pre-9/11 period of service in a higher percentage than Veterans of other races (19.9% vs. 13.3%, respectively)?
Last Reviewed: November 18, 2019