November honors Native Americans

  • Published
  • By A1C Jennifer Jackson
  • Public Affairs
November is celebrated across the country as Native American Heritage Month.
Many towns offer festivals and military bases are having ceremonies and luncheons. With the large number of Native Americans in Oklahoma, there is certainly some celebrating around the town.
There are 395,000 Native Americans in Oklahoma. More than four million people are estimated to be Native American, in combination with one or more race as of July 2002, according to the U.S. Census Bureau for 2003. Native American veterans total 383,000.
A few Native Americans work at Vance Air Force Base, employed by DynCorp.
"I love learning about how the Native Americans contributed to our great land, and what we continue to do to help keep it a great nation," said Karin Myer, finance employee.
To celebrate the month, the Intertribal Club in Enid offers several events. A Native American food tasting event was Tuesday at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Enid Campus. This event was sponsored by the club and the money raised was donated to a scholarship program and the next event, which is the Native American Pow Wow.
The Pow Wow begins at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Mark Price Arena. Members of the group will be in custom dress demonstrating some of their customs. Along with many decorations there will be traditional foods, including grape dumplings, berries from the Northwest and Indian tacos. They plan to have a dance contest with several different groups, a traditional dance and a young people's group. There will be plenty of prizes for the dance contest, as well as things some people may have not seen before. The Pow Wow has become a yearly event, with The Keeper of the Plains Scholarship Fund benefiting from its profit.
"It's a great way to learn more and you don't have to be Native American to come to any of the events or to be part of the group," said Janet Camp, a member of the group and a member of the Northwest Pacific Tribe, also known as the Chehalis Tribe.
Many people are unaware of their heritage or where their family bloodlines actually came from. This is a great opportunity to come out and meet some new people that can offer free advice on how to research the information. They can lead you to the right places to find any Native American in your blood line.
The group normally meets the second Tuesday every month. For more information, call Ms. Camp at 233-6711.