Base celebrates Native American Indians
By 2nd Lt. Cason Gustafson, USAF Gold Bar Recruiting, UCLA
/ Published November 18, 2010
LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Native American Indian Council at Los Angeles Air Force Base is currently celebrating the Native American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month along with The Aerospace Corporation's American-Indian and Alaskan-Native Council.
Since a proclamation put forward by President George H.W. Bush in 1990, the month of November was designated to celebrate Native American heritage and show appreciation to the many contributions provided by the Native Americans throughout history.
The land on which Los Angeles Air Force Base stands once was occupied by the Chumash Indians only a few hundred years ago. Once a 20,000, strong sea-faring people, they were nearly decimated during Spanish colonization. The Chumash Indians are still not federally recognized as a tribe and now number less than 300 individuals living on the Santa Ynez Reservation. Their plight is but one example of the misfortune of the Native American people.
Los Angeles AFB and Aerospace hosted several events in honor of Native American Month including:
The Child Development Center welcomed Ben Wolf of the Kiowa Tribe, Nov. 15 and 16. The children enjoyed American Indian arts and crafts sessions, and heard American Indian folklore told by Mr. Wolf. He also taught the children traditional American Indian dance steps and led them in dances such as the Rabbit "Friendship" Dance and the Snake Dance as he chanted and beat on his drum.
Captain Lynette Bates, Space and Missile Systems Program Management and Integration executive officer, gave a lineage seminar in the Gordon Conference Center, Nov. 16. She descends from the Navajo tribe. She shared her childhood experiences growing up on an Indian reservation. Mr. Wolf also entertained the attendees with a native song. Items of Native American Indian artifacts and books were displayed during the seminar for base personnel to study and enjoy.
The Aerospace Corporation hosted Daniel Bartosz in a special event on ancestry research, Nov 17. Mr. Bartosz specializes in American-Indian and Polish-American research and gave tips on family research.