Speaking at the National American Indian Heritage Month observance Nov. 16 at Hunter Auditorium on U.S. Army Garrison-Natick, Chief Caring Hands of the Natick Praying Indians told of the many contributions Native Americans have made to the nation's military.
The theme of her talk was "Service, Honor, Respect: Strengthening Our Cultures and Communities." Caring Hands was introduced by Lin Malec, chairwoman of the Natick Soldier Systems Center American Indian Heritage Committee and a member of the Abenaki Nation.
"She loves people," said Malec of Caring Hands, "and it's evident in everything she says and she does."
Caring Hands was accompanied by four other Natick Praying Indians -- Strong Bull, Strong Bear, Still Waters and Eagle Eye. Together, they demonstrated their culture by playing native drums and singing.
"Our tribe is very small," said Caring Hands, "just under 50. It's a miracle that we're here."
Caring Hands told how Native Americans formed the nation's first militia and how they have been a part of America's conflicts throughout its history.
"We spend a lot of time praying for the protection of our country," said Caring Hands, adding that God "is watching all of his warriors today.
"Prayer is very powerful. It's energy."