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The Warrior Tradition Discussion Guide

Community Screenings and Discussions
Viewing The Warrior Tradition can be a great tool to raise awareness and get people, young and old, to recognize the dedication that Native Americans have shown to the United States throughout history. Native American soldiers have shown loyalty and service to a country that does not always support them the same way.

An easy to use resource for community members and high school classrooms is available. It outlines how to use The Warrior Tradition program to conduct meaningful conversations. The Discussion Guide includes guided discussion questions and tips on how to connect with Native American and veteran groups so they are part of the conversation.

Download a copy of The Warrior Tradition Community and Educators Discussion Guide and poster below. A limited number of printed guides and posters are also available. To request free copies or a program screener for your event, contact Beth Fronckowiak at 716-845-7006 or

The astonishing, heartbreaking, inspiring, and largely-untold story of Native Americans in the United States military.

Suggested Reading


The American Indian Warrior Today: Native Americans in Modern U.S. Warfare by J. Boyd Morningstorm, Sunflower University Press
Seven narratives on American Indian veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf explain the warrior ethic as it survives today.

America’s First Warriors: Native Americans and Iraq by Steven Clevenger, Museum of New Mexico Press
Native Americans have served in all of America's wars, even though they were not granted citizenship until 1924. Clevenger’s photographs include those of Native American military personnel taken in Iraq, as well as images of traditional coming home ceremonies such as the War Mothers' Dance, Welcoming Home/Cleansing Ceremony, and other rituals.

Code Talkers and Warriors by Tom Holm, Chelsea House
Code Talkers and Warriors chronicles Native American life during World War II. This impeccably researched and illustrated volume covers issues such as draft resistance on the basis of religion and sovereignty; the relocation of Native Americans to West Coast defense plants; how the war facilitated assimilationist thinking; the transition to post-war life; and Native American contributions to the war effort, such as the famed code talkers and Iwo Jima.

From Warrior to Veteran by Lanny Asepermy, Intertribal Visions
A written and pictorial history of modern-day Comanche veterans. It pays tribute to the many accolades earned by Comanche veterans including the Comanche Code Talkers.

From Warriors to Soldiers: The History of Native American Service in the United States Military by Gary Robinson and Phil Lucas, iUniverse Inc.
Native Americans continue in the proud warrior traditions practiced by many of their ancestors, despite continued ignorance of their tribal ways demonstrated by the federal government and the American populace. Indians have fought in every theater of the war, often assigned to the most dangerous operations or duties. Today, Native American men and women continue to enlist and serve with distinction in all branches of the armed services, and their tribal communities carry on proud traditions that include honoring those who've participated in the defense of their homeland. From Warriors to Soldiers tells the untold story of what they've done and why they've done it.

I Am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story by Rick Bragg, Vintage Books
Bragg lets Jessica Lynch tell the story of her capture in the Iraq War in her own words--not the sensationalized ones of the media's initial reports. Here we see how a humble rural upbringing leads to a stint in the military, one of the most exciting job options for a young person in Palestine, West Virginia. We see the real story behind the ambush in the Iraqi Desert that led to Lynch's capture and gain a new perspective on her rescue from an Iraqi hospital where she had been receiving care. In the end, what we see is a uniquely American story of courage and true heroism.

A Plains Indian Warrior Story: Hethu'shka Washoeshay by Hollis Dawes Stabler, self-published
The definition of a warrior for Native Americans has basically remained the same. As a Marine, Hollis D. continues the family legacy of service to our nation's Armed Forces and follows in the footsteps of his father Hollis Dorian Stabler, a U.S. Army "Ranger" and his uncle Robert Stabler KIA. This book is the third in a little-known but remarkable series of autobiographies by members of the Stabler family. Hollis D.'s story focuses on post-contact native history--the pan Indian movement, the powwow circuit, and White prejudice against native people.

Native Apparitions: Critical Perspectives on Hollywood’s Indians by Steve Pavlik, M. Elise Marubbio and Tom Holm, The University of Arizona Press
Native Apparitions offers a critical intervention and response to Hollywood's representations of Native peoples in film, from historical works by director John Ford to more contemporary works, such as Apocalypto and Avatar. But more than a critique of stereotypes, this book is a timely call for scholarly activism engaged in Indigenous media sovereignty.

Strong Hearts, Wounded Souls: Native American Veterans of the Vietnam War by Tom Holm, University of Texas Press
In this first-of-its-kind study, Tom Holm draws on extensive interviews with Native American veterans to tell the story of their experiences in Vietnam and their readjustment to civilian life.

Vietnam Warriors! A Recon Story by J. Boyd Morningstorm, Git a Rope! Publishing
This book chronicles a small special fighting unit of the US Marine Corps - the First Reconnaissance Battalion, First Marine Division, Alpha Company, 2nd Platoon.

Warriors in Uniform: The Legacy of American Indian Heroism by Herman Viola, National Geographic
Native Americans have willingly served in the U.S. military during each of this country’s wars, and their current numbers in the armed forces exceed the percentage of any other ethnic group. Their stories encompass heroism and tragedy, humor and stoicism, loyalty and conflict—all part of the riveting experience of Warriors in Uniform. This illustrated history divulges the exploits of the last Confederate general—a Cherokee—to lay down his arms...the code talkers who used tribal languages to thwart the enemy in World War II...the first Native American woman to give her life as a soldier...those serving in Iraq today...and many others. Spiritual, poignant, gripping, even shocking (warriors still took scalps in Vietnam), it reveals how ancient traditions of war persevere and how the warrior designation is a great honor to the Native American community.


“How Do Americans Indians celebrate the 4th of July” by Dennis Zotigh, The Smithsonian Magazine
How do Native Americans observe the 4th of July? The answer is as complicated as America’s history.
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