For two Edwards employees who are known for their musical ability on and off the flightline, father and son duo, Robin and Caleb Hairston, along with their Blue Mountain Tribe band members, were recently selected to perform at the 10th Annual Red Nation Film Festival in North Hollywood, Calif., Nov. 2.
The Red Nation Film Festival is the first American Indian film festival in Los Angeles that was founded in 2003 as a way of honoring and celebrating the achievements of Native Americans and indigenous people in the areas of television and film.
“We were extremely honored to be selected to perform at the Red Nation Film Festival. This film festival is equivalent to the Oscars, so it meant a lot to be able to perform at an event that highlights the accomplishments of fellow American Indians,” said Robin, 412th Civil Engineering Directorate heavy equipment operator, and manager, agent and harmonica player in the band. “Seeing how we’re one of a few all Native American bands in the country, we take a lot of pride in what we do, even more so, when given the opportunity to represent our people and Edwards.”
Robin said that what really made the event special was seeing the support they received while at the event.
“The management and promoters of this event were really thrilled because they said that a majority of people that were in attendance were from Edwards,” said Robin. “We’re honored that we’re a part of a base really supports what we do. It was very humbling.”
Robin also said that this opportunity also coincided with one of the band’s goals, which is to bring awareness to the Native American culture, especially during Native American Heritage Month, which occurs every year in November.
“This film festival was open to the entire community, not just the Native American community. Since Native Americans are only one percent of the population at Edwards and most other bases, anytime we’re given the opportunity to contribute and show other people the talent and culture of American Indians in today’s society; we get involved. In addition to that, our band’s main goal is to raise awareness of Native American Youth & Native Youth with disabilities.”
Along with Robin, who is Chiricahua Apache, the band consists of his son Caleb, who is lead guitar and also works on base for the 412th Maintenance Squadron; Yaqui Joe Sandoval, who is Pascua-Yaqui and provides vocals; drummer Mark Jodoin who is Montagnais, 3 Rivers people of Quebec; and James Bixler, who is Cherokee and plays bass.
For more information on upcoming Blue Mountain Tribe performances and appearances, go to the Blue Mountain Tribe Facebook page or contact Robin Hairston at (661) 822-9070.