MacDill celebrates National Indian Heritage Month

  • Published
  • By 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

November is National American Indian Heritage Month, recognizing American Indians and Alaska Natives for having served with valor in our nation's conflicts and for their many distinct and important contributions to the United States.

The theme this year is “Grounded in Tradition, Resilient in Spirit.”

According to the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, American Indians and Alaska Natives serve in the United States’ Armed Forces at five times the national average.

For a community that has persevered through decades of challenges, American Indians and Alaska Natives have remained steadfast in their defense of the United States as members of the Armed Forces for centuries.

Currently, there are 574 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and more than 100 state-recognized tribes across the United States. Each have their own unique history, beliefs, governance structure and culture.

Their significant contributions have been recognized in part by the naming of military installations, with examples such as Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, named for Maj. Gen. Clarence L. Tinker, Osage Indian and first American general killed in World War II, while personally leading a dangerous mission.

American Indians and Alaska Natives have bravely defended and shaped our country’s character and our cultural heritage and continue to build on legacies of freedom and diversity. They are leaders in every aspect of our society—from the boardroom to the battlefield, from Secretary of the Interior to the U.S. Poet Laureate.

The observation of National American Indian Heritage Month has its roots in Public Law 99-471. Over several years, the observation was moved to different months but in 1990 Public Law 101-343 set the month long observance in November.

Each year the President issues a Proclamation in recognition of the observance. National American Indian Heritage Month is observed from Nov. 1 - 30 of each year. National Native American Heritage Month is celebrated with community gatherings, festivals, government and educational activities.

For more information, visit the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute