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Memorial Day in Indian Country: A Guide to Events

A story about Native American, American Indian and Indian Country events celebrating Memorial Day.
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American Indians serve in the U.S. Armed Forces at a higher rate per capita than any other group. And all across Turtle Island ceremonies will be held to honor and remember fallen service members this Memorial Day. Here is a listing of just a few of those events.

(All events are Monday, May 27, unless noted; If you would like to share details of an event, please contact for possible publication)

Heard Museum, Phoenix

Memorial Day observance including remarks made in tribute, ceremonial drum song, showing of the movie Native American Veterans: Storytelling for Healing. 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery, Santa Nella, California

22nd annual Memorial Day celebration at 11 a.m. Sunday. The theme for this year's event is American Indian veterans, with special guests coming from the American Indian Veterans Association of Central California.

Florence National Cemetery, Florence, South Carolina

Annual Memorial Day ceremony, beginning at 10 a.m. James Caulder, a Silver Star recipient and chief of the Pee Dee Indians, will perform a smudging ceremony.

Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post, Onamia, Minnesota

The annual Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post Memorial Day Pow-Wow will be hosted by AMVets Post 53. Noon to 5 p.m.

Black Hills National Cemetery, Sturgis, South Dakota

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At 9 a.m., the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Department of South Dakota of the American Legion will host a Native American Memorial Day Ceremony. Guest speakers will include tribal President Bryan Brewer and OST Veterans Board President Chuck Conroy, and Wilmer Nesteth. Traditional Lakota drummers will also perform.

Bayfront Peninsula Park, Port Lavaca, Texas

The Port Lavaca American Legion Post 167, the Port Lavaca VFW and the Port Lavaca GI Forum will host a Memorial Day ceremony from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Boy Scout Troop 361 will sing the Native American Ponca Flag Song.

Angel Fire State Memorial Park, Angel Fire, New Mexico

An 8:30 a.m. Native American veterans tribute at Angel Fire State Memorial Park, followed by a 9 a.m. flag march starting at N.M. 434 and U.S. 64, followed by an 11 a.m. ceremony at the park.

Malki Museum, Banning, California

The museum will be holding its annual Kewet Festival, honoring Native American veterans. Featuring Native American entertainers. Begins at 10 a.m.

Rosebud Sioux Reservation, South Dakota

Join members of Chauncey Eagle Horn Post 125 on a day-long tour of reservations and gravesites on the reservation to render honors for veterans. For details, including a schedule and contact information, click here.

Mashpee Community Park, Mashpee, Massachusetts

10 a.m. Memorial Day service at the Veterans Memorial Garden in Mashpee Community Park. Wampanoag drummers will open the program. Following is the annual open house and tour of the Mashpee One-Room Schoolhouse and the Indian Museum. For information, visit the Mashpee Wampanoag Nation's website by clicking here.