The National Coalition of Black Veteran Organizations on behalf of our affiliate groups proclaim our unwavering support of our Native American brethren by supporting the passage of the Remove the Stain Act.
The Act pursues rescinding Medals of Honor awarded to those American soldiers who perpetrated the act of massacring 200 noncombatant young men, women, and children of the Lakota Tribe at Wounded Knee Creek. The Act would serve as a step in recognizing the tragedy of the era with truth serving as the foundation toward peace and justice.
The Blacks interaction with the Native American communities is the nine-hundred-pound elephant in the room speaking of history. The Native American community suffered its own holocaust and the Black community contributed to their losses.
And although their efforts were heroic in nature, the Buffalo Soldiers played an integral role in the oppressive atrocities that befell Native Americans.
We also recognize that some of our ancestors fought and lived together in cooperation, and the groups formed an agricultural and military alliance. Native American tribes gave shelter to runaway enslaved Africans. Their protective acts prompted the Seminole Indian War of 1835. The United States Army invaded the Seminole tribes in Florida to recapture the enslaved they gave refuge. Those captured were returned to the plantation owners. Black enlistment in the Armed Forces were banned through this period in our history.
Following the Civil War when West Expansion begun, Native Americans were marked for extinction. Prior to the Western Expansion their population numbers were estimated in the millions. By 1890, the population was reduced to two hundred and fifty thousand. Sitting Bull, Geronimo, and Crazy Horse may had been enemies of the United States, but they were freedom fighters for their people. We are fortunate to have a National Native American Museum, so the history is not lost to time.
In that same vein, the Buffalo Soldiers Museum showcases some the history which includes more than 160 battles and skirmishes, pursuit campaigns, and roundups of various Native American tribes from 1867 to 1890. The 9th and 10th Cavalries and the 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments participated in more than 30 years of bloody and occasionally severe combat, exclusive of the Wounded Knee Massacre.