Few people know that Native Americans serve the U.S. armed forces at higher rates per capita than any other ethnic group and have served since the American Revolution. That is about to change. On Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2017, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian began accepting entries for designs for a National Native American Veterans Memorial on the National Mall.
After careful consideration of the finalists, the jury for the memorial project has unanimously selected the design concept submitted by Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne/Arapaho) titled, “Warriors’ Circle of Honor.”
Pratt is a self-taught multimedia artist from Oklahoma and a recently retired forensic artist. He works in oil, watercolor, metal, clay and wood. His works include themes of Native American history and tradition and the Cheyenne people.
A U.S. Marine veteran himself, Pratt served in Vietnam from 1962 to 1965, stationed at Da Nang Air Base. Pratt is the chairperson of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board of the U.S. Department of the Interior. He is recognized by the Cheyenne People as an outstanding Southern Cheyenne, and he was inducted as a traditional Peace Chief—the Cheyenne Nation’s highest honor.
His design concept is a multisensory memorial, comprising an elevated stainless steel circle resting on an intricately carved stone drum. He described his design concept in detail during his presentation to the jurors earlier this year.
The design will undergo further development in coordination with the museum. Groundbreaking for the memorial is slated for September 21, 2019 and the memorial is slated to be completed by late 2020. Learn more about the Native American Veterans Memorial initiative at https://nmai.si.edu/nnavm/.
Posted: 26 June 2018