LINCOLN, Neb. – A traveling Smithsonian exhibit about the history of Native American veterans in the U.S. military is on display at Fort Atkinson State Historical Park through Sept. 2.
“Patriot Nations: Native Americans in Our Nation’s Armed Forces” tells the story of the American Indian and Alaska Native men and women who served in the United States military. Native peoples have participated in every major U.S. military encounter since the Revolutionary War.
The 16-panel exhibit includes art, photography and essays, and provides a fascinating look at the richness of Native Americans’ involvement in military conflicts, said Fort Atkinson curator Susan Juza.
It also offers added context to a special event coming to Fort Atkinson in August. The “Wardance and Gourd Dance of the Umonhon Nation,” which will take place Aug. 3-4, will involve veterans of war from many Nations.
“It is a dance in tribute to any Native Americans that served in the armed forces. Only veterans can dance it,” Juza said.
“Patriot Nations” will be on display through Sept. 2 in the Harold W. Andersen Visitor Center. The Center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Admission to the visitor center is $2 for adults and $1 for youth ages 13 and under. Visitors will also need a park entry permit to enter the park.
“Patriot Nations: Native Americans in Our Nation’s Armed Forces” was produced by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. The exhibition was made possible by the support of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.
Fort Atkinson State Historical Park is located seven blocks east of U.S. Highway 75 near Fort Calhoun. For more information, contact the park at 402-468-5611 or visit OutdoorNebraska.org.