MND-B celebrates Native American Heritage Month
November 30, 2009
BAGHDAD - Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldiers entertained a crowd with speeches, poems and songs during a celebration of Native American Heritage Month at the Camp Liberty Morale, Welfare & Recreation here, Nov. 27.
According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Native American Heritage Month has been nationally observed since 1990, when President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November as "National American Indian Heritage Month."
MND-B's Equal Opportunity Office hosted the event as part of their monthly observances of cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities.
"This [event] was a good source of entertainment, but it was also an educational piece. It's always good to have the crowd get into it," said Sgt. 1st Class Tamatha Denton, an equal opportunity advisor for MND-B. "Events like these are good for individual Soldiers, the units and the leadership. They build unit cohesion and camaraderie."
Keynote speakers included Soldiers from different MND-B units, as well as a variety of Native American tribes.
Sgt. Frankie Albert, a network operator from Division Special Troops Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, assisted the chaplain with the invocation and benediction with traditional Navajo prayers.
Albert is a Gallup, N.M., native and part of the Navajo Indian tribe. He comes from a long line of veterans, including his father, brothers, and several members of his extended family who have served in the military.
"Being a veteran holds a great status within the tribe," Albert said of the Navajo culture. He joined the military to make his family's life better and has served for over 13 years.
Another speaker at the event was Sgt. Lauri Kindness, with 3rd Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division from Lodegrass, Mont., who sang a protection song of the Crow tribe.
Sgt. Remi Bald Eagle, a Takini, S.D, native assigned to the 16th Engineer Brigade as a combat engineer, gave a speech regarding Native Americans then and now.
Bald Eagle's speech focused on the history of Native Americans in the U.S. military, but also touched on subjects of culture, beliefs and Native American ideals.
Events such as these help to remind Soldiers of the various contributions made by other cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities.