November is National American Indian Heritage Month, a month to pay tribute to the ancestry, traditions and contributions of Native Americans to the nation’s history.
This year’s theme is “Grounded in Tradition, Resilient in Spirit.”
The NAIHM is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, raise general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced historically and in the present, and how tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.
“We celebrate NAIHM because we should. Every region in this Nation were ancestral lands to American Indians and we must honor that, the generations that came after, and the many that have served in our military,” Krisryan Borsil, 412th Force Support Squadron, Affirmative Employment Program Manager at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., said.
Borsil explained the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion, and celebrating the cultures and traditions of Native Americans, along with brothers and sisters-in-arms of Native American heritage, their families and ancestors.
“It’s important because we as a nation must honor those great contributions because we are a team, a military family, and we celebrate our diversity that makes us the most elite fighting force in the world,” Borsil said.
The AEP hosted numerous events to support the NAIHM on Edwards Air Force Base. One of them was a book-reading by base archaeologists at the library. They also showcased Native American artifacts from the local area to Edwards personnel at the Base Exchange.
“The earliest Native Americans to enter Antelope Valley faced a considerably different landscape than what is currently seen in the area,” said Jeffrey L. Baker, base archaeologist. “Much of Edwards Air Force Base was covered by a large lake, known as Lake Thompson that extended south to the vicinity of Lancaster and extended west of Rosamond.”
To finish out the month, the AEP hosted a movie screening at the base theater of the 2002 film “Windtalkers,” a movie about Navajo code talkers during World War II.