National American Indian Heritage Month
By Kiersten McCutchan, 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 07, 2018
MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- On Aug. 3, 1990, President George H. W. Bush declared the month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month.
The observance legally authorized and requested federal, state and local governments, groups and organizations, and people of the United States to observe the month with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities.
It became the country's landmark bill honoring America's indigenous and tribal people.
Designated by the Society of American Indian Government Employees, the theme for this year's National American Indian Heritage month is "Sovereignty, Trust and Resilience."
Special observance of the month aims to highlight the rich diversity of American Indians and Alaska Natives that comprise the 567 federally-recognized tribes, writes the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute.
Additionally, DEOMI writes, the diversity of the tribes, each with their own rich and beautiful cultural background, represent past and present service members from all branches of military service who, through their contributions, have been critical to our nation's defense.
The month is an opportune time for education and learning about tribes, awareness of unique challenges Native people face, and to open dialogues in communities.
"November brings all of us the annual celebration and observance of Native American Indian Heritage month, said Col. Jennifer Reeves, 341st Missile Wing commander."
"Every year the nation takes this opportunity to reflect upon and celebrate the significant contributions of Native Americans to our country. It is a time to educate our citizens and families about the heritage, history, art, and traditions of Native Americans," she said.
"As Team Malmstrom, we are fortunate to live in an area where American Indian people, history and culture abound," Reeves said.
"I urge everyone to check out the many resources and sites available to learn more about the Native members of our great community, not just this month, but whenever you have time to discover," she said.
"Native American Airmen have served, and continue to serve, with great honor, dedication and distinction. They have built a legacy of courage, professionalism and service that inspire current and future generations of Airmen," Reeves said. "The vision, spirit, and resilience of Native Americans have shaped the character of our Nation since its inception."
Annually, Malmstrom leadership meets with Native American tribal representatives from the state of Montana.
The annual meeting is designed to build personal relationships and understanding between the tribes and the installation.