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    1SBCT Hosts Native American Heritage Observance

    1SBCT Hosts Native American Heritage Observance

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Scott Evans | FORT CARSON, Colo. – Kathy Turzi, the executive director of One Nation Walking...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Scott Evans 

    4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

    FORT CARSON, Colo. - In 1990, the month of November was designated as Native American Indian Heritage Month by President George H. W. Bush following approval by a joint resolution of Congress. Since that time, the annual celebration has come to be known as by other terms, such as Native American Heritage Month and National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.
    To mark the occasion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division hosted a Native American Heritage Month observance Nov. 20 at the Elkhorn Catering and Conference Center at Fort Carson, Colorado to expand the knowledge of Soldiers to Native American culture as well as some of the economic challenges they continue to face.
    The guest speaker for the observance was Kathy Turzi, the executive director of One Nation Walking Together, a Colorado Springs-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of struggling Native Americans throughout eight U.S. states.
    “I appreciate the fact that your base has taken the time to recognize and appreciate Native American Heritage Month is important, that it is a culture and it is beautiful and rich,” Turzi said. “I’m a non-Native, but I get the privilege of serving a culture that is less fortunate.”
    Many of the people living in the 567 federally-recognized tribes in the United States currently do not have many modern amenities to meet their basic needs.
    “We have brothers and sisters still living without water to their homes,” Turzi said. “There are homes in the South Dakota area still without electricity.”
    Despite these struggles, throughout America’s history Native Americans have played a significant role with service in the United States military.
    “Patriots of American Indian and Alaskan native heritage continue to build a legacy of freedom and diversity,” said 1st Lt. Nastassia Smith, the event’s narrator and personnel officer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div.
    Those involved in One Nation Working Together strive to make a difference to improve living standards for these people.
    “We’re providing the daily essentials for basic daily living needs,” Turzi said. “Food, clothing, wood, (resources for) rebuilding. We had the bomb cyclone last year and some of the reservations in Nebraska and South Dakota were flooded, and because they are sovereign nations being governed by the federal government and tribal nations, they did not receive some of the funding like some of the mainstream cities like Colorado Springs and Denver did.”
    The ceremony also provided an overview of the contributions of Native peoples who have served in the United States Army, including some currently serving at Fort Carson. Spc. Maurice Nacotee, a human resources specialist assigned to 71st Ordnance Group (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), spoke about his experiences being born and raised in a large family as part of the Menominee Nation in Wisconsin and how he came to join the Army.
    “I chose to serve because being a Native American, we are always chasing that dream of being a warrior, and the only way to do that in opinion is to join,” Nacotee said.
    Following a Native American dance performance, the 1st SBCT command team expressed their gratitude to all involved, and shared their views on the main themes of these monthly cultural observances.
    “It’s not just about how we look or where we’re from, it’s also our different experiences … and realizing the strength of our Army and the strength of our nation really is our diversity,” said Col. Ike Sallee, commander, 1st SBCT, 4th Inf. Div. “Just think about it, if we can create free spaces and safe spaces where people can share those different perspectives, experiences, and ideas together how much greater this world would be.”



    Date Taken: 11.20.2019
    Date Posted: 12.02.2019 16:34
    Story ID: 353333
    Location: FORT CARSON, CO, US 

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