Traveling Exhibit Honoring Native Americans in the Armed Forces now open at Coos History Museum

Posted by TravelCoosBay on March 21, 2018

Patriot Nations: Native Americans in Our Nation’s Armed Forces Coos Bay
Photo Courtesy of National Museum of the American Indian and Coos History Museum.

The Coos History Museum will waive admission to veterans and their spouse/partner beginning March 2018 through December 31, 2018. The free admission program was created through generous financial support from the Coquille Tribal Community Fund and the Mr. and Mrs. Michael L. Keiser Foundation. Veterans will need to provide their branch of service and ZIP Code upon admission.

Patriot Nations: Native Americans in Our Nation’s Armed Forces, a traveling exhibit produced by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, is now open at the Coos History Museum.

The Coos History Museum, one of our most treasured cultural attractions, is known for its range of interactive exhibits and resources designed to preserve the rich maritime and cultural history in our region (not to mention with beautiful views of the bay).

The museum, operated by the Coos County Historical Society, opened a special exhibit last week revealing the remarkable history of Native American veterans through art, photography, and essay. The 16-panel exhibition documents 250 years of Native peoples’ contributions in U.S. military history. “Native Americans have served in every major U.S. military encounter from the Revolutionary War to today’s conflicts in the Middle East in higher numbers per capita than any other ethnic group,” the museum said in a statement.

“Tens of thousands of Native Americans joined the U.S. armed forces during World Wars I and II,” said Herman J. Viola, curator emeritus of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and curator of “Patriot Nations.” “Forty-four thousand Native Americans served in World War II; the entire population of Native Americans was less than 350,000 at the time. They are Purple Heart recipients and Bronze Star medal honorees. Many have been recognized with the Congressional Medal of Honor, the United States’ highest military award.”

Patriot Nations also calls attention to the creation of the National Native American Veterans Memorial on the grounds of the museum on the National Mall. Congress has charged the museum with building the memorial to give “all Americans the opportunity to learn of the proud and courageous tradition of service of Native Americans in the Armed Forces of the United States.” Working together with the National Congress of American Indian, Native American veterans, tribal leaders, historians and cultural experts, the museum will complete the memorial by Veteran’s Day 2020. For more information about the memorial, visit the website at:

Patriot Nations: Native Americans in Our Nation’s Armed Forces remains on view through April 29, 2018, at the Coos History Museum, 1210 North Front Street, in Coos Bay. The exhibition was produced by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and made possible by the generous support of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

About the Coos History Museum:
The Coos History Museum, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is dedicated to preserving the history of Coos County and Oregon’s South Coast, past and present. The museum is located on the waterfront right off Hwy. 101 and open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10am to 5pm, with additional evening hours on the First Tuesdays of February to June, and August to December, from 6:00pm to 8:30pm. Second Sunday of each month is a FREE ADMISSION DAY. General admission to the Coos History Museum is free for CHM members, active duty military, and NARM members.  Those interested in more information should contact the Coos History Museum at (541) 756-6320 or visit