Only a handful of spaces remain in the MN Court of Honor. The state's American Indians believe they deserve recognition with a plaque in the court. A bill moving through the MN legislature would authorize that.

Minnesota Bill Would Establish Memorial for American Indian Veterans


By a unanimous 129-0 vote in the Minnesota State House of Representatives on April 11, HF143 was passed. On April 18, the state Senate voted 64-0 in favor of the bill. After the house approved the amended senate version, again 129-0, it's heading to Governor Mark Dayton for his signature.

The measure authorizes the placement of a plaque in the Court of Honor on the Capitol grounds to honor Minnesota’s American Indian military veterans. Rep. John Persell (DFL-Bemidji) sponsored the bill.

Erma Vizenor, chair of the White Earth Nation and Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, has been working on this since 2005, reports the Twin Cities Daily Planet.

In addition to honoring veterans, the plaque would promote a better understanding of American Indians’ involvement in military service, Blake Johnson, a lobbyist for the Prairie Island Indian Community said at a House hearing on the bill, according to the newspaper.

“American Indians have served proudly during peacetime and in every one of our nation’s wars and conflicts,” Johnson said.

Time and space are factors, as only nine spaces remain in the Court of Honor. According to Paul Mandell, principal planner and zoning administrator for the Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board. Five plaques have been added since about 2007, and Minnesota has yet to place plaques honoring all veterans of the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars.

For more info on HF143 and to track its progress in the Minnesota State Senate, click here.

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Mr. Walter E. John's picture
Mr. Walter E. John
Submitted by Mr. Walter E. John on
One of our Fathers' of the Dakota, Lakota, Nakota Code Talkers of WWII is Pfc. Walter C. John. He's a Isanti Dakota, from Santee Sioux Reservation of Nebraska. His Grandfathers were P.O.W.s of Sioux uprising in 1862. They were in prison at Davenport, Iowa. One Grandfather was Sam (Red) Wolf; he became a Custer scout, in 1873. The Isanti scouts (43) returned home, after smallpox out break, that was killing young children, and the old folks. I feel some of the warriors of 1862, should be considered for the Court of HONOR! Your Relative Mr. Walter E. John