News: 3rd Radio Battalion hosts National Native American Heritage Month luncheon at Anderson Hall Dining Facility
Story by Kristen Wong
Kaneohe - Guests celebrated National Native American Heritage Month with a luncheon program at Anderson Hall Dining Facility, Nov. 17.
The program, sponsored by 3rd Radio Battalion, featured guest speaker David “Windhorse” Long, with performances by David “Flying with Eagles and Running With the Wind” Bevett and Guywood “Song of Eagle” Dela Cruz.
“I want everybody to come out and learn about the different cultures we have,” said Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Barillas, the equal opportunity representative for 3rd Radio Battalion. “America is a melting pot full of many cultures and not everyone knows [enough] about them.”
Dela Cruz co-composed a song called “Medicine Eagle’s Journey” and performed it at Anderson Hall with a traditional Native American
“It’s an honor to always be here,” Dela Cruz said. “Everyone is captivated by the music. [The music is] soothing, calming. When you play [the music], it connects your mind, body and spirit.”
Each of the guests not only have Native American ties, but military ties as well. Dela Cruz’s father and adopted mother are retired
from the Army. Long served in the Navy and is a Vietnam veteran, while Bevett served more than 20 years in the Army and Navy, and has a son in the Marine Corps.
Long stressed that it is important for people to know about their heritage, because it keeps them grounded, and they can draw from their history to become stronger in life. Long said hopefully by attending the luncheon, guests will have a “deeper respect for our people.”
Bevett performed several traditional Native American dances, including a “crow hop” and a “sneak up.”
“I want people to know that we’re still thriving and are proud to fight for America,” Bevett said.
He also said dancing, for him, is a form of prayer.
“I pray for every warrior who has died in this world,” Bevett said.
Before closing the program, Bevett invited the Marines, sailors and civilians to learn one traditional dance together. Several guests were also able to compliment the dance with a Native American weapon provided by the performers.
According to the National Native American Heritage Month website, a time of observance for Native Americans has been called for as
far back as 1915. National Native American Heritage Month was officially recognized in 1990.
“This month, we celebrate the rich heritage and myriad contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives, and we rededicate ourselves to supporting tribal sovereignty, tribal selfdetermination, and prosperity for all Native Americans,” writes President Barack Obama in his 2011 proclamation. “We will seek to strengthen our nation to nation relationship by ensuring tribal nations have a voice in shaping national policies impacting tribal communities.”
There are approximately 25,000 Native Americans currently living in Hawaii, and they make up the largest minority group currently
serving in the military.
For more information about the observance and its history, visit
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