National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month
By Apolynne McCarthy, 17th Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 03, 2009
GOODFELLOW AFB, Texas --
The month of November is National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. We celebrate to remember and recognize the intertribal cultures and to educate the public about the heritage, history, art and traditions of the American Indian and Alaska Native peoples. After nearly a century of proposal, this month was first recognized through joint resolution by Congress in 1990. Now observed annually, it is to honor the original peoples of this land.
Throughout history, American Indian and Alaska Native peoples have been a fundamental and important part of the American character. Against the odds, America's first peoples have endured, and they remain a vital cultural, political, social, and moral presence. Tribal America has brought to this great country certain values and ideas that have become ingrained in the American spirit: the knowledge that humans can thrive and prosper without destroying the natural environment; the understanding that people from very different backgrounds, cultures, religions, and traditions can come together to build a great country; and the awareness that diversity can be a source of strength rather than division.
What are the various traditional programs, ceremonies, and activities American Indians hold in light of this month? There are many museums' that exhibit portraits, paintings, and photographs of defining figures in honor and remembrance of this time period. Libraries, all over the country, designate a time frame for daily story book readings for families with children. Many families celebrate in hands-on activities such as creating paper star quilt patterns. There are several short, educational, fictional films of historical moments during the Native American Indian time period that are presented for the public to see.
"I feel it is important to honor all cultures and ethnicities that make up our military and our nation. I think that the Native American Heritage Month is one that is sometimes overlooked but deserves just as much attention as any other culture or ethnicity," said Lt. Bob Weaver, 17th Medical Operations Squadron, Bioenvironmental Engineering Element Leader.
Goodfellow will take part in celebrating Native American month with a luncheon at the Event Center, on Nov. 24, The Children's Development Center, School Age Program Center, and Youth Center will hold activities on Nov. 20. Details and other events to be announced.