Team Hill to celebrate National Native American Heritage Month Published Oct. 31, 2022 By Kaimi Pacheco Team Hill Special Observance Council HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- National Native American Heritage Month is observed in November each year. Hill Air Force Base joins the nation in paying tribute to Native Americans and Alaska Natives who, through courage and sacrifice, served and continue to serve faithfully in the U.S. armed forces. Historically, American Indians have the highest record of military service per capita when compared to other ethnic groups. The reasons are deeply rooted in traditional cultural values that drive them to serve their country. These include a proud warrior tradition, best exemplified by the following qualities said to be inherent to most, if not all, Native American societies: strength, honor, pride, devotion, and wisdom. These qualities closely correlate with military tradition. In 1916, New York became the first state to observe “American Indian Day.” In 1976, Senate Joint Resolution 209 approved President Gerald Ford to declare Oct. 10-16, 1976, “Native American Awareness Week.” For 14 years, Congress continued to designate one week during the fall as Native American Indian Heritage Week. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law a joint resolution identifying November as the National American Indian Heritage Month. The dedicatory verbiage was revised in 2008 to include Alaska Natives and their contributions to the nation. The month has been deemed National Native American Heritage Month since that time. This year’s theme, “Celebrating Respect, Culture, and Education,” focuses on the celebration of respecting our fellow man and nature and embracing and educating ourselves on cultures different than our own. As the first people to live on the land we all cherish, American Indians and Alaska Natives have profoundly shaped our country's character and our cultural heritage. Today, American Indians and Alaskan Natives are leaders in every aspect of our society — from the boardroom to the battlefield to the classroom. The state of Utah has five major Native American tribes. The Ute, Diné (Navajo), Paiute, Goshute, and Shoshone each have a unique and strong cultural heritage. There are also eight distinct tribal nations that span across Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada. If you would like to learn more about the local American Native community or want to know how to attend future events and gatherings, please visit https://indian.utah.gov/. Join the Team Hill Special Observance Council this November in celebrating the contributions and sacrifices of American Indians and Alaskan Natives by paying tribute to their legacies. Members of this community have volunteered to serve in conflicts throughout our storied U.S. Air Force and DoD history. You can read some of their personal stories at https://www.loc.gov/vets/stories/ex-war-nativeamericans.html. The stories chronicle true heroism and bravery, which will be forever enshrined in our history as descendants continue to honor their legacy. The Team Hill Special Observance Council is finalizing its plans for a series of activities to honor the American Indians and Alaskan Natives this month. Stay tuned for more information and invites, which will be distributed via email and posted to Hill’s social media channels.