Commentary

November 1, 2013

Celebrate National American Indian Heritage Month, Nov. 13

Sgt. 1st Class Darryl A. Avery
Equal Opportunity Advisor, 11th ACR, NTC and Fort Irwin

This year marks the 23rd anniversary of the signing of House Joint Resolution 577 (Public Law 101-343) that designated November 1990 as National American Indian Heritage Month.

President George H.W. Bush approved the resolution on Aug. 3, 1990 and issued Proclamation 6230 on Nov. 14, 1990. Within that significant proclamation President Bush included the following statements:
“Long before European explorers set foot on the North American continent, this great land had been cultivated and cherished by generations of American Indians. Unbeknownst to their fellowman halfway around the world, these Native people had developed rich, thriving cultures, as well as their own systems of social order. They also possessed a wealth of acquired wisdom and skills in hunting, tracking, and farming – knowledge and skills that would one day prove to be invaluable to traders and settlers from Europe.

“Today Americans of all ages recognize the many outstanding achievements of this country’s original inhabitants and their descendants. Young and old alike know the story of Sacajawea, the Shoshone woman who helped to guide Lewis and Clark on their historic expedition and, in so doing, helped to open the door to the Great West.

“The giant redwood trees protected in a number of our national parks bear the name of Sequoia, in honor of the great Cherokee leader who taught thousands of Indians to read and write and, in so doing, helped to unite and strengthen the Cherokee Nation. We also recall the achievements of Charles Curtis, the proud descendant of Native Americans who served this country not only as a member of Congress but also as vice president. However, such celebrated examples constitute only a small portion of the rich, centuries-old heritage of American Indians. Indeed, each of the many tribes that have inhabited this great land boasts a long and fascinating legacy of its own.

“During the National American Indian Heritage Month, as we celebrate the fascinating history and time-honored traditions of Native Americans, we also look to the future. Our Constitution affirms a special relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes and – despite a number of conflicts, inequities, and changes over the years – our unique government-to-government relationship has endured. In recent years, we have strengthened and renewed this relationship. Today we reaffirm our support for increased Indian control over tribal government affairs, and we look forward to still greater economic independence and self-sufficiency for Native Americans.”

On behalf of the National training Center and Fort Irwin we salute the countless Native American men, women, and Families who have continued to sacrifice themselves for the betterment and advancement of this great nation.

This year’s Native American Heritage Celebration will be held on Nov. 13 from 11:30 to 1 p.m. at the Sandy Basin Community Center. The event will feature Native American cultural advisor Sam Hunter, The Black Mountain Birdsingers from the Colorado River Indian Tribes in Parker, Ariz., an artifact display from Fort Irwin’s Department of Public Works Archaeological team, and cultural food samplings.

For Information regarding this event, contact the 11th ACR EO Office at 380-2513.




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