Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma) has introduced legislation in the House that would clear the way for a national Native American veterans memorial to be built in Washington, D.C. Currently, no memorial honoring Native veterans exists in the U.S. capital, despite the incredible service and sacrifices of Natives in the U.S. Armed Forces. Per capita, American Indians and Alaska Natives serve in the U.S. Military at a higher rate than any other group.
Mullin's legislation, H.R. 2319, "To clarify certain provisions of the Native American Veterans' Memorial Establishment Act of 1994," follows the introduction of S. 1046, Native American Veterans’ Memorial Amendments Act of 2013 by Sentor Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) on May 23 in the U.S. Senate. (Read more: Recognition for Service by Native Americans May Finally Be Coming)
Mullin, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, says his bill would amend existing law to allow the National Museum of the American Indian to build the memorial on the museum's grounds on the National Mall. Current law authorizes a memorial inside the museum, but Mullin says there isn't enough room, according to the Associated Press.Ten co-sponsors have signed on to the bill, including fellow Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, a member of the Chickasaw Nation.
As of June 14, the text of H.R. 2319 had not yet been received from the Government Printing Office, though it is expected any time. Track the bill's progress through Congress here.