State and tribal leaders gathered on the grounds of Minnesota Capitol today to honor American Indians who have served in the military.
They dedicated a new plaque, located in the area known as the Court of Honor. Lawmakers passed a bill in 2013 authorizing the placement of the memorial.
Erma Vizenor, chairwoman of the White Earth Nation, said during the dedication ceremony that the effort to get a memorial began in 2005. She said American Indians have served in the military at a proportionately higher rate than other groups of people.
“For once, for once, we want the facts stated,” Vizenor said. “We want the truth known that our American Indian veterans have served this country honorably and well.”
Gov. Mark Dayton told the American Indian veterans at the event that the plaque was overdue.
“We’re in your debt for your service and for your courage, and we thank you," Dayton said. “For those who are departed, we thank them for their ultimate sacrifice.”
The Minnesota Indian Affairs Council furnished the plaque, which names four Dakota nations and seven Ojibwe nations.
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