American Indian speaker encourages unity and acceptance of all people

By Jason Kaneshiro DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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A descendant of the Micmac and Mohawk tribes encouraged the Naval Support Activity Philadelphia workforce to look past people’s external differences and to see each other as one people during the National American Indian Heritage Month program Nov. 14.

Kenneth Little Hawk, a Native American storyteller and recording artist, urged the audience to open their hearts so they could hear his message with their spirit.

“Too many have taken being humane out of being human, separating compassion from the heart and people from each other,” Little Hawk said.

Little Hawk shared a story his grandfather told him about a family from Europe that came upon an apple tree and took some apples to eat. The mother and father then sat in the shade and rested their backs against the tree while the children played.

After that family left, families from India, China and Africa would subsequently come upon the tree and take apples to eat. Then while the parents rested under the shade and leaned against the tree, the children played before getting up and leaving.

Little Hawk’s grandfather then asked him if he understood what the apple tree would be saying, to which Little Hawk replied that he didn’t.

“Grandfather said, ‘The tree said, I didn’t say you can’t have any of my apples because I don’t like the color of your skin. The tree didn’t say you can’t have any of my apples because I don’t like the language you speak. The tree didn’t say you can’t have any of my apples because I don’t like the god that you follow,’” Little Hawk quoted his grandfather.

The lesson learned, according to Little Hawk: The tree would willingly give of itself to people in need, regardless of who they were. And everyone should be like the apple tree, willing to give to those who have less and are in need.

It was a message of acceptance and inclusion of all people, regardless of color or creed, said Katherine Reynolds, a management assistant with the Defense Logistics AgencyTroop Support Command Support Office.

“I was honored to be here, and I was happy I took the time to come,” Reynolds said. “I can identify 100 percent with what he was talking about.”

The American Indian Heritage Month program was sponsored by the DLATroop Support Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Office Advisory Committee.