National Native American Veterans Memorial finalists chosen

BY STAFF REPORTS
02/14/2018 12:00 PM
WASHINGTON – The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian James Dinh, Daniel SaSuWeh Jones (Ponca) and Enoch Kelly Haney (Seminole), Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne/Arapaho), Stefanie Rocknak, and Leroy Transfield (Maori: Ngai Tahu/Ngati Toa), who advanced to the second stage of the National Native American Veterans Memorial design competition.

The five finalists shared their visions for the memorial and presented their initial design concepts at a public event held at the museum on Feb. 7. At the event, Kevin Gover, NMAI director, spoke of the gravity of the responsibility to design a national memorial to Native American veterans. Native Americans have served in every American conflict since the Revolution and have served at a higher rate per capita than any other group throughout the 20th century.

“Most important is their pride in what they have done and their commitment to the well-being of the United States,” said Gover. “To realize that these men and women served well a country that had not kept its commitments to their communities over its history. They are perfectly aware of it, and yet they chose to serve. And to me that reflects a very deep kind of patriotism. A belief in the promises of a country that had not kept its promises to them up to that time. I can think of no finer example of being Americans than the way these men and women chose to serve over those years.”

Links to view the finalist’s design are:

James Dinh

Daniel SaSuWeh Jones (Ponca) and Enoch Kelly Haney (Seminole)

Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne/Arapaho)

Stefanie Rocknak

Leroy Transfield (Maori: Ngai Tahu/Ngati Toa)

The finalists will have until May 1 to evolve and refine their design concepts to a level that fully explains the spatial, material and symbolic attributes of the design and how it responds to the vision and design principles for the National Native American Veterans Memorial. The final design concepts for Stage II will be exhibited at both the Washington, D.C., and New York museums May 19 through June 3. The museum’s jury of Native and non-Native artists, designers and scholars will judge the final design concepts and announce a winner July 4.

The memorial is slated to open in 2020 on the grounds of the museum.

This project is made possible by the support of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Bank of America, Northrop Grumman, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker LLP, General Motors, Lee Ann and Marshall Hunt, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and the Sullivan Insurance Agency of Oklahoma.

The museum was commissioned by Congress to build a National Native American Veterans Memorial that gives “all Americans the opportunity to learn of the proud and courageous tradition of service by Native Americans in the Armed Forces of the United States.” Working with the National Congress of American Indians and other Native American organizations, the museum is in its third year of planning for the memorial.

For more information, visit www.AmericanIndian.si.edu/NNAVM.

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