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    Team Minot Observes Native American Heritage Month

    Team Minot Observes Native American Heritage Month

    Photo By Airman 1st Class Alexander Nottingham | Two Native American dancers perform at the Native American Heritage Month closing...... read more read more



    Story by Airman 1st Class Alexander Nottingham 

    5th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

    MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Team Minot observed Native American Heritage Month in November with events such as a proclamation signing, a veterans panel and a closing ceremony. The month was a time for Airmen to learn the history and culture of Native American communities.

    At the panel, civilians and veterans expressed their previous experiences with the military as Native Americans. This panel allowed for attendees to learn about the struggles and triumphs of previous warfighters.

    “I am proud to serve the country,” said BJ Rainbow, a former Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps,” I joined because I'm protecting nations within a nation. We have a connection to this land, [and] to the elements on a spiritual level.”

    During the ceremony, held on November 30, had the opportunity to learn about and experience the culture from local tribes and Native American Airmen. Ceremony attendees were introduced to the personal collection of Tech. Sgt. Pashala Lewis, a Native American Airman from the Quinault tribe located on the Pacific coast of Washington. Items in the collection included traditional bands, blankets and ceremonial wardrobes. The items belonged to his family and had ceremonial and cultural significance.

    “I believe it’s important to share information about my tribe because I think it’s essential to educate people about the differences in cultures of Native Americans across the U.S.,” said Pashala.
    Kobe Morsette and Sage Casas, two dancers from the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nations, performed a Prairie Chicken dance, a ceremonial dance used in competition, at the closing ceremony. After the performance the dancers answered questions about their traditions, dance and regalia. The regalia is a powerful mode of self-expression blending historical and modern dress. Each different dance is a way of expression, a language in itself. These dances are used in many different celebrations to include but not limited to harvests or seasonal changes, marriages, and competitions. Opportunities like these are thanks to the hard work of the Minot Air Force Base Native American Counsel that strives to create learning opportunities for Airmen on base.

    “I believe that with the military being so diverse, it brings a lot more insight and innovative ways to get every mission done,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher G. Henry, the Minot Air Force Base Native American Counsel president.
    Across the Air Force, diversity of backgrounds, experiences, demographics, and perspectives are essential to our success in an increasingly competitive environment. The United States military and its diverse branches create a culturally rich and operationally relevant military that can effectively accomplish various missions.



    Date Taken: 11.30.2022
    Date Posted: 12.06.2022 09:04
    Story ID: 434556
    Location: MINOT AFB, ND, US

    Web Views: 11
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