Events to recognize Native American Heritage Month


WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — November is Native American and Alaskan American Heritage month and to recognize the significant contributions made by the first Americans, two special events are scheduled for the month.

Attendees can make authentic Native American medicine bags and learn how they were used 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 at the USO auditorium in the Kittyhawk area. In addition, Navajo tea and other authentic Native American dishes will be available to sample. The instructor is artist and educator Muriel Goodwin who was born and raised in New Mexico. She is a member of the federally recognized tribe of the Navajo Nation located in the southwestern United States and is also from the Pueblo of Laguna located in New Mexico. Her clans are Bear Child from the Pueblo of Laguna and Kiyaa’aanii, the Towering House Clan from the Navajo. Goodwin grew up spending time on both reservations.

Guest speaker Bill Kennedy, a cultural anthropologist from the Boonshoft Museum, will give a presentation 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27 at the base theatre in the Kittyhawk area about the local Adeana and Hopewell Indian cultures and mounds that are located in and around the base and in the local area. After Kennedy’s presentation, the movie “Windtalkers” will be shown and samples of Navajo Tea will be available to try.

The origins of the month date back to 1915 when the annual Congress of the American Indian Association formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day. It directed its president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapahoe, to call upon the country to observe such a day. Coolidge issued a proclamation on Sept. 28, 1915, which declared the second Saturday of each May as an American Indian Day and contained the first formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens.

In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994.

For additional information or questions regarding Native American/Alaskan American Heritage Month, contact the 2018 Native American/Alaskan American Heritage Special Observance Committee Chairperson, Sloan Gragg at 937-656-3589 of sloan.gragg@us.af.mil.