Warrior Spirit : The Story of Native American Heroism and Patriotism

SKU: 9780806180311

Herman J. Viola
Grade Levels:
Twelve, Adult Education
Multiple Nations
Book Type:
University of Oklahoma Press
Copyright Date:
Publication Date:
(Mar 17/22)

Sale price$26.95


For decades, American schoolchildren have learned only a smattering of facts about Native American peoples, especially when it comes to service in the U.S. military. They might know that Navajos served as Code Talkers during World War II, but more often they learn that Native Americans were enemies of the United States, not allies or patriots. In Warrior Spirit, author Herman J. Viola sets the record straight by highlighting the military service—and major sacrifices—of Native American soldiers and veterans in the U.S. armed services.

American Indians have fought in uniform in each of our nation’s wars. Since 1775, despite a legacy of broken treaties, cultural suppression, and racial discrimination, indigenous Americans have continued to serve in numbers that far exceed their percentage of the general U.S. population. Warrior Spirit introduces readers to unsung heroes, from the first Native guides and soldiers during the Revolutionary War to those servicemen and -women who ventured to Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

This outstanding record of service begs a question: Why do American Indians willingly serve a country that has treated them so poorly? Native veterans invariably answer that they are a warrior people who have a sacred obligation to defend their homeland and their families. Written to be accessible to young adult readers, Warrior Spirit is a valuable resource for any reader interested in Native American military history.

Written by Herman J. Viola, Director of Quincentenary Programs in the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. Additional perspectives on war is provided by Indigenous author Joseph Bruchac and previous Senator, Ben Nighthorse Campbell:

“Warrior Spirit does a superb job of telling the story of Native Americans serving in the armed forces of the United States, pointing out the immense contributions they’ve made and the importance of recognizing their sacrifices and their service. The book is as entertaining as it is informative.”—Joseph Bruchac (Nulhegan Abenaki), author of Code Talker: A Novel about the Navajo Marines of World War Two

“As a Korean War veteran, I have great appreciation for the history of military service of my Native brothers and sisters. We are a warrior people, with love and patriotism for our country, even when that love has not always been returned in full. In Warrior Spirit, Herman J. Viola provides a deep look into the history of American Indian military service and the reasons for that pride and dedication to service.”—Ben Nighthorse Campbell (Northern Cheyenne), U.S. Senator from Colorado (1993–2005)

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