Natives in the Military?

With politicized debate around the role of gays in the military we should reflect on what place Native Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives have in the US Government’s military.

Let us not forget that imperialism began with forts in Indian Country and the genocide of Native Americans across the North American continent. Today there are nearly 800 US military bases throughout the world responsible for the deaths of millions:

Iraq Deaths Estimator

Consequently, I propose that our warriors focus on defense of their homelands by going to their clan/tribe elders, spiritual leaders, activists and war chiefs for spiritual guidance on how they can serve their people in all facets of Native life in their own communities and NOT in the native lands of other tribal people!


When I was a teenager I participated in an annual weapons check of all able bodied men in the village by the war chief of my tribe. This was done at the beginning of the traditional war season, a time when we used to have to defend our food stores from other tribes. This is done out of traditional custom but also as a reminder: one day we will have only ourselves and each to rely on for our mutual protection. The US government won’t be around forever; we will be.

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About Vince

I am a Tlingit, born and raised in Tlingit Country, and a proud member of the Tlingit Nation.
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3 Responses to Natives in the Military?

  1. Pingback: Natives in the Military? | Lingit Latseen

  2. I feel as Indigenous Peoples living in America it’s our duty to guard the U.S./Mexico/Canada border for Drug dealing and Human trafficking. Only we can protect our communties against drugs and slavery. We should work together along with those few good people in the U.S. and Canadian and Mexican government. But shouldn’t depend on them to combat this problem.

  3. ravenwarrior says:

    It is certainly our duty to guard our own borders; and in many cases that may mean an alliance with others, including the current US. I maintain that we still do not belong in the native lands of people on the other side of the planet, especially as US soldiers. We shouldn’t make the move from victims of imperialism to perpetrators of it.

    On the topic of drugs and human trafficking; nationwide prohibition of drugs is an ineffective way of dealing with the social harms associated with drug use. The successful cases I know of for handling substance abuse problems have involved tribes, clans and families reducing their community’s exposure to harm associated with drug abuse while at the same time offering a path for drug addicts and alcoholics to come back “home” among their people. AIM is very effective at keeping its addicts busy in cultural activities and support groups. The Native American Church is very much the same in this regard, replacing addiction with love, support, prayer, custom and religion.

    In other words, drugs are going to cross borders despite our best efforts. The best way to combat these sort of social ills is to build a strong, supportive and loving community.

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