LCO Warriors and Veterans: A Discussion with Edward Benton (5 videos)

Produced by Paul DeMain
News From Indian Country 5-08

Native American veterans have served in every single action of warfare in the United States and Canada since discovery. From the early excursions of discovery, the Oneida and Cayuga support of George Washington's army at Valley Forge, Civil War, WWI and WWII to the current conflicts in the Middle East, American Indians have volunteered at the highest per-capita rate of any other ethnic group on the continent.

During an interview with Lac Courte Oreilles elder Edward Benton-Banai, conducted by Tysa Jane Goodrich and Paul DeMain as part of a Go Native America - Wisconsin resource tour, Benton discusses topics as varied as "Why Native warriors have a right, responsibility and need to recite their war record, to the public" as part of their healing process and recognition to the send-off and welcoming ceremonies American Indians conduct for their servicemen and women.

The discussion is edited into five sectional interviews under ten minutes each.

"When a Warrior Speaks"

This first one we entitle: "When a Warrior Speaks" and how recitation of battle stories is part of the healing process for American Indian veterans.

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"The Call to Service"

This second interview we entitle: "The Call to Service" and how Native communities have always honored the warrior, not the war policy that from time to time has led non-Natives to turn against their veterans, in particular during the Vietnam war.

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"Putting Your Bundle Down"

This third interview we entitle: "Putting Your Bundle Down" Benton discusses how Native communities prepare a send off, and welcome veterans back into the community, in ceremony, upon return.

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"This is Our land"
This fourth video we entitle: "This is Our land" and how Native communities have always been willing to defend it in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and now in the Middle East conflicts.

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"War Songs"
 This fifth video we entitle: "War Songs" and how songs for warriors are carried from generation to generation, family, clan or society.
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Edward Benton Banai is the author of several books including the instructional and cultural reference book called "The Mishomis Book: Voice of the Ojibway" with stories about the creation, migration and history of the Anishinaabeg.



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