BATTLE CREEK, Mich. –
The Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center’s Native American Heritage Month program was canceled this year due to guest speaker illness.
Helen Goertler, from the Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Office at the federal center, was one of the planners for the program.
She said President George H.W. Bush designated the month of November as “National American Indian Heritage Month” in 1990.
“However, Native Americans and others had been celebrating this month for many decades before its official declaration,” Goertler said. “During this time, we celebrate diverse cultures, traditions, and histories, and acknowledge the important accomplishments of Native American people."
Goertler said that this year’s program would have focused on the tradition of military service among Native Americans.
“They have the highest record of service per capita than any other ethnic group, and have a higher rate of female service members,” Goertler said. “Native Americans have fought in every war in the United States since the American Revolution. Today, there are 31,000 Native Americans serving on active duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world.
” She added that the goal of the program is to provide a platform for native people to share their culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance, ways and concepts of life.
DLA recognizes National Native American Heritage Month each November by providing employees with Native American history, rights, culture and contemporary issues to better assist them in their jobs and for overall awareness.