Master Sgt. Nina Clark, SDDC Military Equal Opportunity Advisor, shares information about Native American Indian artifacts from the Cahokia Mounds historical site with Sgt. 1st Class Abdullah Salahuddin during the cultural observance display at SDDC headquarters November 18, 2021.
Master Sgt. Nina Clark, SDDC Military Equal Opportunity Advisor, shares information about Native American Indian artifacts from the Cahokia Mounds historical site with Sgt. 1st Class Abdullah Salahuddin during the cultural observance display at SDDC headquarters November 18, 2021. (Photo Credit: Tiana Waters) VIEW ORIGINAL

Scott Air Force Base, III. – The Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command celebrated National American Indian Heritage Month by presenting a show-and-tell display of artifacts at its headquarters, November 18 and 22.

During National Native American Indian Heritage Month, the Army honors American Indians and Alaska Natives and celebrates the service of over 150,000 veterans of Native American descent.

For this month’s observance, Master Sgt. Nina Clark, SDDC Military Equal Opportunity Advisor, planned and hosted the show-and-tell display in the SDDC main entrance lobby. On display were numerous replicas of artifacts from the Cahokia Mounds, an Illinois historical site and one of the most significant historical sites of North America Indian history in America.

Cahokia Mounds is the largest pre-Columbus-era city built north of Mexico and hosted a sophisticated prehistoric Native American civilization that thrived in Illinois from A.D. 700-1300. Located in Collinsville, Illinois, 30 minutes west of Scott Air Force Base, it is a National Historic landmark and one of 24 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Sites within the U.S.

“My intent for this event was to educate SDDC employees that part of Native American Indian history lays within our own backyard,” Clark said. “My goal with each [cultural observance] event is to associate local history with each observance to ensure people are able to have a positive take-away and learn something new.”

Clark’s display provided SDDC’s employees with facts about the local historical landmark while honoring the culture and heritage of Native American Indians who deeply enriched the quality and character of the nation.

“Having the opportunity to learn about different cultures such as Native Americans provides military personnel along with civilian employees the opportunity to understand all the history behind civilizations near the base,” said Staff Sgt. Davis Cooks while observing the display.

Clark plans to continue each month highlighting different backgrounds, cultures and heritages that make our Army stronger and more diverse.

SDDC’s next cultural observance event will take place in January with the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, also known as a day of service. Clark plans to honor King’s life and teachings with a command coat-drive and engaging with the community to donate coats to those in need.

“By commemorating these observances we are highlighting the contributions of all people of all cultural backgrounds and finding commonalities in experiences,” Clark said.