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NAHM proclamation signing
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Col. Stacy L. Yike, 66th Air Base Group commander, signs a proclamation declaring November as Native American Heritage Month at Hanscom as Shawn Swiderski, committee president, stands by. Many activities and observances are planned throughout the month to recognize contributions of Native Americans. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rick Berry)
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Strength of spirit exemplifies Native American Heritage Month

Posted 10/28/2010   Updated 10/28/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by Sarah Olaciregui
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs


10/28/2010 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass.  -- Strength in Spirit: Stories of Survival and Perseverance is the theme for Native American Heritage Month, which runs throughout November.

"Whether it's surviving and thriving in the wilderness with little more than one's bare hands in centuries past or enduring the daily struggle to prevent a culture from becoming something only written about in books or spoken of through stories of legend, the perseverance of the Native American people is something we should pay close attention to," said Shawn Swiderski, Hanscom's Native American Heritage Month committee president.

This November's observation will bring many people together to hear stories from the past as well as spiritual ideologies of Native Americans that are still relevant today.

"As we ourselves struggle with the modern day challenges of a vacillating economy, an uncertain future for our children and oftentimes our own spirituality, we could all certainly learn from the Native American people," Mr. Swiderski said.

The month's events and celebrations will all lead up to Thanksgiving Day; a time when friends and family gather to gives thanks and a time when people can reflect upon how the pilgrims sat down with Native Americans for the first Thanksgiving so long ago.

"Over the course of the month I hope we can truly gain an appreciation for our Native American predecessors as well as the strength of our own internal spirit," said Mr. Swiderski.

Several events are planned throughout November to observe Native American Heritage Month. For further information about any of the events, contact Shawn Swiderski at shawn.swiderski@hanscom.af.mil.

Native American Heritage Month events:
Nov. 4: Turkey Trot 3K race, Fitness Center

Nov. 7: Tree Ceremony, hosted by the Dighton Intertribal Council, held at 1111 Somerset Ave., Dighton, Mass. There is an optional potluck social that will take place after the ceremony. Those interested in attending the social are asked to arrive at 10 a.m. with a dish. The tree ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. and the social will begin after the ceremony.

Nov. 9: Burial Ground visit, near the Hamilton Solar Observatory in Hamilton, Mass. Transportation from Hanscom will be available. Contact Shawn Swiderski for further information.

Nov. 14: Genuine Powwow at Bridgewater State College in Bridgewater, Mass. at 11 a.m.

Nov. 18: Tools and Survival presentation and discussion of spirituality in the wilderness and modern world. Contact Shawn Swiderski for further information.



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