ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - Staff Sgt. Marie Sanders-Gulas, a contract specialist with Army Contracting Command -- Rock Island, provided the welcome address during the National American Indian Heritage Month Observance ceremony held here Nov. 26.

Sanders-Gulas provided background on the American Indian legacy, introduced the presentation of the video documentary "We Are Still Here" and welcomed the event's speaker, Scott Manning Stevens. He is the director of the Newberry research library's D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies and a member of the Akwesasne Mohawk nation.

"It is important for us to support all equal opportunity events and this is the second island-wide observance that she has been selected to be the master of ceremonies for in the last three months," said Master Sgt. Sol Nevarezberrios, ACC-RI's senior enlisted advisor.

"This observance was particularly interesting because it showcased the determination of a culture to survive. It honors our American Indian nation at a time when it is coming full circle as young children are now able to learn the native language and communicate with their elders, thus ensuring that their rich heritage and traditions are not lost but preserved for generations to come."