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World War II Code Talkers
World War II had no shortage of heroes, but the conflict likely would’ve ended on a completely different note for the United States without the efforts of the Navajo soldiers known as Code Talkers.

At the onset of the war, the U.S. found itself vulnerable to Japanese intelligence specialists who used their English-speaking soldiers to intercept the messages issued by the U.S. military. Each time the military devised a code, Japanese intelligence experts deciphered it. As a result they not only learned which actions U.S. forces would take before they carried them out but gave the troops bogus missions to confuse them.

To prevent the Japanese from intercepting subsequent messages, the U.S. military developed highly intricate codes that could take more than two hours to decrypt or encrypt. This was far from an efficient way to communicate. But World War I veteran Philip Johnston would change that by suggesting that the U.S. military develop a code based on the Navajo language.
World War II did not mark the first time the U.S. military developed a code based on an indigenous language. In World War I, Choctaw speakers served as code talkers. But Philip Johnston, a missionary’s son who grew up on the Navajo reservation, knew that a code based on the Navajo language would be especially difficult to break. For one, the Navajo language was largely unwritten at the time and many words in the language have different meanings depending on context. Once Johnston demonstrated to the Marine Corps how effective a Navajo-based code would be in thwarting intelligence breaches, the Marines set out to sign up Navajos as radio operators.
In 1942, 29 Navajo soldiers ranging in age from 15 to 35 years old collaborated to create the first U.S. military code based on their indigenous language. It started off with a vocabulary of about 200 but tripled in quantity by the time World War II ended. The Navajo Code Talkers could pass messages in as few as 20 seconds. According to the official Navajo Code Talkers website, indigenous words that sounded like military terms in English made up the code.

“The Navajo word for turtle meant ‘tank,’ and a dive-bomber was a ‘chicken hawk.’ To supplement those terms, words could be spelled out using Navajo terms assigned to individual letters of the alphabet—the selection of the Navajo term being based on the first letter of the Navajo word’s English meaning. For instance, ‘Wo-La-Chee’ means ‘ant,’ and would represent the letter ‘A.’”The code was so complex that not even native Navajo speakers comprehended it. “When a Navajo listens to us, he wonders what in the world we’re talking about,” Keith Little, the late code talker, explained to news station My Fox Phoenix in 2011.

The code also proved unique because the Navajo soldiers weren’t allowed to write it down once on frontlines of the war. The soldiers functioned essentially as “living codes.” During the first two days of the Battle of Iwo Jima, the code talkers transmitted 800 messages with no mistakes. Their efforts played a key role in the U.S. emerging from the Battle of Iwo Jima as well as the battles of Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, and Okinawa victoriously. “We saved a lot of lives…, I know that we did,” Little said.
The Navajo Code Talkers may have been World War II heroes, but the public didn’t realize it because the code created by the Navajos remained a top military secret for decades following the war. Finally in 1968, the military declassified the code, but many believed that the Navajos didn’t receive the honors befitting of war heroes. In April 2000, Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico sought to change that when he introduced a bill authorizing the U.S. president to award gold and silver congressional medals to the Navajo Code Talkers. In December 2000, the bill went into effect.

“It has taken too long to properly recognize these soldiers, whose achievements have been obscured by twin veils of secrecy and time,” Bingaman said. “…I introduced this legislation – to salute these brave and innovative Native Americans, to acknowledge the great contribution they made to the Nation at a time of war, and to finally give them their rightful place in history.”

Jim Thorpe


Jim Thorpe was born circa May 28, 1888, near current-day Prague, Oklahoma. A child of Sac and Fox and Potawatomi Indian bloodlines, as well as French and Irish roots, he was given the name Wa-Tho-Huk, meaning "Bright Path," but christened Jacobus Franciscus Thorpe.
Thorpe learned to hunt and trap prey at an early age, developing his legendary endurance via extensive excursions through Indian Territory. His aversion to the classroom was exacerbated by the early deaths of his twin brother and both parents, and his stints at the Haskell Institute in Kansas, the local Garden Grove school and the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania were marked by long bouts of truancy.
As a student at Carlisle in the spring of 1907, Thorpe joined a track-and-field practice session on campus. Clad in his work clothes, he launched himself over a 5'9" high bar to break the school record, catching the attention of coach Pop Warner. Thorpe soon became the star of the track program, and with his athletic skills he also enjoyed success in baseball, hockey, lacrosse and even ballroom dancing.
However, it was football that propelled Thorpe to national renown. Starring as a halfback, place kicker, punter and defender, Thorpe led his team to a surprise victory over top-ranked Harvard in November 1911, and fueled a blowout of West Point a year later. Carlisle went a combined 23-2-1 over the 1911-12 seasons, with Thorpe garnering All-American honors both times.
Olympic Glory and Downfall
Named to the U.S. team for the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden, Thorpe burst out of the gate by winning four of five events to claim the gold medal in the pentathlon. A week later he overwhelmed the field in the decathlon, winning the high jump, the 110-meter hurdles and the 1,500 meters despite competing in a pair of mismatched shoes. Finishing the three-day event with a total of 8,412.95 points (of a possible 10,000), a mark that bested the runner-up by nearly 700 points, Thorpe was proclaimed by Sweden’s King Gustaf V to be the greatest athlete in the world.
Thorpe was honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City as part of his hero’s welcome home. However, a newspaper report the following January revealed that the Olympic champion had been paid to play minor league baseball in 1909 and 1910. Despite his handwritten plea to the Amateur Athletic Union, Thorpe was stripped of his amateur eligibility and forced to return his gold medals, his historic performance stricken from the Olympic record books.
Professional Sports Career
In 1913, Thorpe married his college sweetheart, Iva Miller, and signed to play professional baseball with the New York Giants. Troubled by the curveball, Thorpe batted just .252 over a six-year big-league career with the Giants, Cincinnati Reds and Boston Braves, although he managed an impressive .327 average in his final year.
Thorpe made a much bigger impact in the early stages of pro football. He signed with the Canton Bulldogs for $250 per game in 1915, justifying the price tag by drawing massive audiences and leading the team to championships in 1916, '17 and '19. In 1920, the Bulldogs were among the 14 clubs that made up the American Professional Football Association -- soon to be renamed the National Football League -- with Thorpe serving as league president for a season. He went on to found the Oorang Indians, an all-Native American team that performed “war dances” and other rituals to entertain audiences, and also played for the NFL’s Cleveland Indians, Rock Island Independents, New York Giants and Chicago Cardinals through 1928.
Post-Athletic Career and Death
Having already divorced and remarried, to a former baseball team employee named Freeda Kirkpatrick, Thorpe encountered increasing difficulties after his athletic career concluded. He sought a career in Hollywood, and while he was credited with appearing in more than 60 films from 1931 to 1950, he mainly scored bit roles as a stereotypical American Indian. He undertook odd jobs to support seven children from two marriages, and a growing drinking habit led to a second divorce, in 1941.
Despite his struggles, Thorpe found a purpose in fighting for his people. He formed a casting company to pressure Hollywood studios into casting authentic Native Americans for roles, and he sought to procure original Sac and Fox land holdings from the federal government. Scraping by with funds earned from public speaking, he married for the third and final time in 1945, to Patricia Gladys Askew.
Thorpe achieved some public redemption in the final years of his life. The Associated Press named him the greatest athlete of the first half of the 20th century in 1950, and the following year he was portrayed by Burt Lancaster in the film Jim Thorpe -- All-American. After he succumbed to a heart attack on March 28, 1953, at his trailer home in Lomita, California, his body was moved to an eastern Pennsylvania community that renamed itself Jim Thorpe in exchange for housing his remains.
Legacy and Burial Controversy
Thorpe was elected a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963, and in 1982 his name was restored to the Olympic record books as a co-winner of the 1912 track events. Proving he still loomed large in the American consciousness, he was voted the previous century's greatest athlete in a 2000 ABC Sports poll, and finished third in another ballot conducted by the Associated Press.
In 2010, Thorpe's son Jack filed a federal lawsuit to bring his father's remains back to Oklahoma. A trial court judge originally sided in the family's favor, but in 2014 a federal appeals court overturned that ruling to maintain Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, as the legendary athlete’s final resting spot.
Dr. Charles Alexander Eastman
Native American Medical Doctor and Writer.
Born Hakadah as Part of the Spirit Lake and Leaf-dweller Sioux, Which are part of the Santee Sioux also called Dakota.
At a young age he helped to win a tribal Lacrosse match and earned the name Ohiyesa (the Winner).
His grandmother was the daughter (Wahkantankanwin (Goddess) or Mary Nancy Eastman) of Seth Eastman , an artist, and an Army Capt., whose paintings still grace the Whitehouse. His father,Ite Wakandiota (Many Lightnings), fled to Canada to avoid arrest for his part in the uprising of 1862 - because of the quality or lack of good conditions on the reservation. He was captured and sentenced to hang with more than 300 of the leaders in 1861. Because of the lack of evidence and the intervention of President Lincoln the penalty was reduced to prison time. Having converted to Christianity he was released and became a farmer. His grandfather, Cloud Man, was one of the earliest Santee converts to Christianity. Many Lightnings brought his son home to their farm near Flandreau, Dakota Territory. Ohiyesa took the name Charles Alexander Eastman.
In Flandreau Charles attended Indian school. Two years later he attended school at Santee, Nebraska. He later attended Beloit College, Knox Collage, Kimball Union Academy and graduated from Dartmouth College. He finally graduated from Boston Medical school, graduating in June 1890 with honours. Besides his academic studies he was Captain of the football team, played tennis and Baseball, and boxed. He set an all collegiate record in long distance running.
His first job was at Pine Ridge Indian Agency, South Dakota. Here he met his wife, Elaine Goodale, a published writer, poet and Indian activist. She was the supervisor of Indian Education in the Dakotas. On 18 June 1891 they were married at the Church of the Ascension, NYC by Rev. Dr. Donald.
The Eastmans went to Wounded Knee the day after the massacre as part of the rescue team, finding over 200 frozen bodies. They fought the corruption within the Agency. In 1893 he was fired. They moved to St. Paul, MN, where he unsuccessfully practiced medicine. Authorities did not believe him to be qualified as a doctor. Several jobs with various Indians were terminated because of his stand against corruption. In 1902 he wrote "Indian Boyhood".
Between 1903 and 1909 he was in-charge of a program to give the Sioux English names and provide a linage to protect property rights.
In 1910 he helped to found the Boy Scouts and published their first Guidebook. Other books followed.
Between 1823 and 1825 he was in-charge of the Government's office of the Inspector of complaints against the Indian agency.
In 1915 the Eastmans opened a summer camp for girls at Granite Lake, NH. The Eastmans had six children, five girls and a boy. In 1921 the loss of their daughter, Irene, caused the Eastmans to divorce. Charles lived in Detroit for a number of years, with his son, Charles. He attained a parcel of land on the north bank of Lake Huron, near Desbarats, ON, where he died in January 8 of 1939, after his tepee burnt. Services were held at the William R. Hamilton Chapel on Jan. 11th in Detroit Michigan. For years he was buried in an unmarked grave in section 9, lot B, grave 1 at Evergreen Cemetery in Detroit Michigan. In the 1960's, with the revival of interests in Native Americans his body was laid to rest In Sioux Falls,SD.
Billy Mills

Billy Mills was born on June 30, 1938 in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. He is Oglala Lakota (Sioux) and grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Billy did not have an easy childhood. Surrounded by poverty and orphaned at the age of 12, he started running to channel his energy into something positive. In high school, his gift for running become more apparent as he set records in numerous track events. He went on to earn a track scholarship from the University of Kansas and then served as an Officer in the United States Marine Corps.
At the 1964 Olympics, he shocked the world and came from behind to win the gold medal in the 10k race. At the time, he set a world record of 28 minutes, 24.4 seconds and is still the only American to ever win a gold medal in the 10k event. His win was an upset that has been called the second greatest moment in Olympic history. In Lakota culture, someone who achieves great success has a 'giveaway' to thank the support system of family and friends who helped him achieve his goal. As part of his effort to give back to his community, Billy helped found Running Strong for American Indian Youth and became the organization's National Spokesperson. Today Billy travels over 300 days every year. He visits American Indian communities throughout the U.S. and speaks to youth about healthy lifestyles and taking pride in their heritage.

In 2014, Billy Mills celebrated the 50th anniversary of his gold medal win by starting Dreamstarter, a grant program to jump start the dreams of Native youth.
Billy was awarded the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal by President Obama, for his work with Running Strong. The Presidential Citizens Medal is the second highest civilian award in the United States. It recognizes individuals "who [have] performed exemplary deeds or services for his or her country or fellow citizens."

Chief Black Kettle

Chief Black Kettle (Mo'ohtavetoo'o) Born 1868 to the band of the Northern Cheyennes in the Black Hills. After 1854, he was a prominent leader of the Southern Cheyenne tribe. He is revered for his continued efforts to bring peace to his people. He lived at a time when the US government was very insensitive to the rights of Native Americans and used its superior military muscle to repress them. He witnessed a phase wherein the government forced Black Kettle to sign an unfair treaty, then defy the treaty themselves and finally draft a new treaty according to their convenience. In spite of all the injustices, Black Kettle was foresighted enough to realize that they were no match for the Americans in battle, who wouldn’t hesitate to use force against them. Thus he kept signing one unjust treaty after another, as a result facing mutinies from within his own tribe. Even after the ‘Sand Creek Massacre’, where Black Kettle’s childhood friend died and his wife was seriously injured, he did not give up his efforts for peace. Tragically, his efforts finally proved futile as the government crushed the rebellion and confined the Native Americans to small land areas away from their ancestral homes. But, for his efforts to bring peace to his people and for the things he stood for, Black Kettle remains a much respected figure still today, especially among Native Americans.
Roman Nose

Most of the Cheyenne chiefs were entirely peaceful, as it was a requirement to exhibit characteristics of great wisdom and most of all, a strong sense of compassion towards all members of the tribe. Most chiefs had been brave warriors in their earlier days, but when they became a chief their responsibility was to always do their best to maintain peace, see that no harm would come to the people.
Roman Nose, however, was not a chief. He is often cited as a chief because of his prominent appearance and powerful presence, but he was all warrior. Chief Tall Bull, Bull Bear, and White Horse of the Dog Soldiers would often call upon him to lead the young men into battle because he was well respected among all the Cheyennes, especially all the young warriors.
Roman Nose was born around 1830, son of Lone Horn and brother of Spotted Elk and Touch the Clouds. He died during the Battle at Beechers Island in 1868. He had refused a chieftaincy when young, on the grounds that "he spent the major portion of his time in battle rather than in council". Although Roman Nose never accepted the role of chief, many of his peers respected him as a leader and protector of his people and their resources. Roman Nose, was a leader of Indian warriors and a member of the crooked Lance Society of the Cheyenne Indian Tribe.
Roman Nose's leadership, battle tactics, and spirituality are a few things that made him known to many. Although he died fairly young, Roman Nose left an impact on the west during his time.
Col. Van T. Barfoot

Van T. Barfoot (a Choctaw Native American Indian) was born in Edinburg, Mississippi on June 15, 1919. He enlisted in the U.S. Army 21 years later (1940).
Then at the age of 25 (May 23, 1944) — on a foreign WWII battlefield near Carano, Italy — Technical Sergeant Barfoot set out alone on foot to flank German machine gun positions and stop the deadly rain of enemy bullets that were killing his fellow soldiers.

Barfoot advanced through a minefield, took out three enemy machine gun emplacements with hand grenades and expert fire from his Thompson submachine gun.
He then picked up a bazooka, took on and destroyed one of the three advancing Mark VI tanks that German commanders ordered in to spearhead their fierce heavy-armored counter attack on Barfoot's platoon position in an unsuccessful effort to retake their lost machinegun positions.
As the tank crew members dismounted their disabled tank, Sgt. Barfoot killed three of the German soldiers outright with his tommy gun.

Barfoot then continued further into enemy terrain and destroyed a recently abandoned German fieldpiece with a demolition charge placed in the breech.

While returning to his platoon position, Sgt. Barfoot, though greatly fatigued by his Herculean efforts, assisted two of his seriously wounded men 1,700 yards to a position of safety.

Barfoot is credited with capturing and bringing back 17 German prisoners of war (POWs) to his platoon position that day.
His heroic efforts earned then Technical Sergeant Barfoot a U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor, and an honorable place in American history. He went on to become a highly decorated colonel.
He died March 2, 2012 at the age of 92.

Charles George

Charles George was born in the Birdtown community of Cherokee, North Carolina on August 23, 1932. A full-blooded Cherokee and member of the Bird Clan, Charles George (Charlie) grew up alongside the Oconaluftee River with his family, living a simple mountain life. Charlie attended the Indian School in the Qualla Boundary of Western North Carolina, and he spent most of his free time hunting and fishing.
At age 18 and with the Korean War raging, Charles George enlisted in the United States Army. Beginning his military service in March 1951, Charlie attended basic training at Ft. Jackson, SC, infantry training at Ft. Benning, GA, and advanced combat training in Japan before arriving in Korea in September 1951. Assigned to Company C, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division spent over a year fighting in the Korean War.
Shortly before shipping off to join 45th Infantry Division in Korea, Charles George made one last stop at the Cherokee school in the Qualla Boundary. He talked with the children about serving their country, serving their people and staying true to the Cherokee warrior tradition. The words he spoke echoed those of his elders, words that embody the beliefs of his people. At 20 years old he was more than a new recruit volunteering for combat in Korea; he was a warrior following in the footsteps of his ancestors, going into combat to protect his people.
Like all Native Americans, the Eastern Band Cherokee have a complicated history with the United States Government, riddled with betrayal and broken promises. Separated from most of their tribe who live in Oklahoma, the Eastern Band remain in a small portion of their ancestral lands deep within the cool, lush mountains of Western North Carolina. While fiercely loyal to the United States, the Cherokee preserve and honor their language and customs on land they have loved for hundreds of years. It may be a new government, but theirs is an old Nation In 1952, the war was in Korea and the political goal was to stop communist expansion in Asia. However, for Charles George, the fight was to protect his country, people and his beloved mountains.
On November 30, 1952 Charles George displayed conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty by giving his life to defend his nation, complete his mission, and save his friends.
His Medal of Honor Citation tells his story.
Citation: Pfc. George, a member of Company C, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy on the night of 30 November 1952. He was a member of a raiding party committed to engage the enemy and capture a prisoner for interrogation. Forging up the rugged slope of the key terrain feature, the group was subjected to intense mortar and machine gun fire and suffered several casualties. Throughout the advance, he fought valiantly and, upon reaching the crest of the hill, leaped into the trenches and closed with the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. When friendly troops were ordered to move back upon completion of the assignment, he and 2 comrades remained to cover the withdrawal. While in the process of leaving the trenches a hostile soldier hurled a grenade into their midst. Pfc. George shouted a warning to 1 comrade, pushed the other soldier out of danger, and, with full knowledge of the consequences, unhesitatingly threw himself upon the grenade, absorbing the full blast of the explosion. Although seriously wounded in this display of valor, he refrained from any outcry which would divulge the position of his companions. The 2 soldiers evacuated him to the forward aid station and shortly thereafter he succumbed to his wound. Pfc. George's indomitable courage, consummate devotion to duty, and willing self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit upon himself and uphold the finest traditions of the military service.
George is remembered and honored. His legacy is an integral part of the Eastern Band community. Charles George is honored at the yearly Cherokee Fair, his 45th Infantry insignia is proudly displayed on the American Legion Post 143 uniform, and his story is taught in Cherokee schools.
Named in his honor are a bridge, a school gymnasium, a US Army camp in Korea, and most notably is the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville, which serves over 37,000 veterans in Western North Carolina.
Wes Studi
Wesley "Wes" Studi (born December 17, 1947) is an award-winning Native American actor and film producer from Nofire Hollow in the Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma, and who has won critical acclaim for his portrayal of Native Americans in film.
Studi is full-blooded Cherokee, a sculptor, musician, author, and activist. After serving in Vietnam, he joined the American Indian Movement and worked closely with the Cherokee Nation.

A stint as a professional horse trainer overlapped with the start of his acting career at The American Indian Theater Company in Tulsa in 1983. His first professional stage debut was in Black Elk Speaks, and his first feature film was The Trial of Standing Bear.

He next starred in two memorable movies. These were the blockbuster Dances with Wolves, which won 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture, and The Last of the Mohicans, in which Mr. Studi memorably incarnated Magua .

He shared a Western Heritage Award with the cast and crew of Walter Hill’s Geronimo: An American Legend, in which he played the title role. He has since starred in, The New World, and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, which won 6 Emmy Awards including Outstanding Made For Television Movie.

Movies including Coyote Waits, Skinwalkers, A Thief of Time, and Avatar are just a few on a long list of Studi's acting achievements.

An internationally recognized expert in indigenous languages, he also worked as a language consultant on several movies, including Avatar and the documentary We Shall Remain. For the Cherokee Bilingual/Cross Cultural Education Center, he authored the children’s books The Adventures of Billy Bean and The Further Adventures of Billy Bean.

In 2006, Mr. Studi was honored with the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s Golden Boot Award. His passion and multi-faceted background for his powerful character portrayals have forever changed a Hollywood stereotype.

Robby Romero

Apache Robby Romero is an articulate artist and advocate for the causes and concerns behind a cultural resistance that is older than this country.
He is the founder and leader of the acclaimed Native Rock band Red Thunder. Robby rose to prominence with the global broadcast of his first music picture Is It Too Late. This endeavor earned Robby the title of United Nations Ambassador of Youth for the Environment and a Certificate of Appreciation Award from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) signed by Executive Director, Mostafa K. Tolba.

Over the past two decades Robby has used the international languages of music and film to help shift the paradigm and bridge the gap between Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the environment through his non-profit organization, Native Children's Survival.

Robby's directorial film debut Makoce Wakan: Sacred Earth first aired on VH1 in 1993. "Feedback has been more than positive: Congratulations on a very successful show that has generated more viewer calls than any other show to date." - MTV Networks

Robby's music pictures broadcast on MTV and VH1 introduced Native Rock music to the music television generation. His Native American stereotype-breaking public services announcements as part of MTV's Free Your Mind campaign won the Industry's prestiges CableAce Award. His politicized rockumentary films broadcast nationally and internationally, catapulted him into an arena of his own making.

Robby has shared the stage with multi-platinum musical artists, including Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, and Cat Stevens, and with such dignitaries as His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Former Presidents Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Shimon Peres, to name a few. Over the years, Robby has received multiple awards and cultural honors in acknowledgment of his work.

The Encyclopedia of North American Indians Past to Present states, "Red Thunder has commanded the largest audience of any contemporary Indian music group."

The Los Angeles Times Magazine speaks of Robby's work as, "changing the world and the world of music."

News From Indian Country says, "Red Thunder, formed by Romero in 1989, continues to be one of the most popular musical groups known in "Indian Country" and around the world."

Robby is the founder of Eagle Thunder Enterprises (ETE), an artist-owned and operated independent Indigenous company consisting of four divisions: 1) Film, 2) Music, 3) Publishing, and 4) Production. ETE has reached millions of listeners, viewers and customers from all walks of life through global releases, television broadcasts and live concerts, musical tours and events.

Robby's single Iron Horse, a collaboration with two time Grammy Winner Robert Mirabal, commemorates the Summer of the Red Willow June 10, 2014, historic name-change of Kit Carson Park to Red Willow Park by the Town Of Taos. The Summer of the Red Willow Change the Name Public Service Announcement premiered at the 32nd Annual Gathering of Nations Pow Wow held at the University of New Mexico Arena (The Pit) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and on the world-wide-web at PowWows.com. www.powwows.com on April 26, 2015.

"When the opportunity presented itself, I suggested that the Town Of Taos change the name of Kit Carson Park to Red Willow Park to honor the people of the Red Willow. I made the suggestion to kindle a conversation about one-sided perspectives that are more often then not 'his-story - not history'... and I'm certain the curtain has fallen on the misconceptions, stereotypes and derogatory names exploited in history books and in sports and POP cultural about Native Peoples." - Robby Romero

The new Alter-Native single Iron Horse written by Romero and Mirabal, dropped August 12, 2014, on iTunes, Amazon and other leading music stores worldwide. Iron Horse is the first single from the upcoming EP scheduled to drop in 2016.

John Bennett Herrington

NASA astronaut and Navy Commander, John Herrington was born (1958) in Wetumka, Oklahoma. A member of the Chickasaw tribe, John and his family moved around a great deal when he was a child. By the time he was a senior in high school John had moved fourteen times and had lived in Colorado, Wyoming and Texas. After an unsuccessful attempt at college, John worked on a survey team in the mountains of Colorado. There he found that he had an aptitude for math and for solving real-life problems. He returned to college at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and received his degree in applied math in 1983.

Having always wanted to be a pilot, Herrington joined the Navy and received his commission from Aviation Officer Candidate School in March of 1984 and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1985. He has logged over 3,300 flight hours in over 30 different types of aircraft. In 1995 Herrington received a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.

NASA selected Herrington in 1996 as an astronaut and he reported to the Johnson Space Center in August of that year. He has served as a member of the Astronaut Support Personnel team responsible for Shuttle launch preparations and post-landing operations. Herrington was a member of the sixteenth Shuttle mission to visit the International Space Station (November 23-December 7, 2002). He was the first Native American to walk in space. Herrington honored his Native American heritage during that walk by carrying six eagle feathers, a braid of sweet grass, two arrowheads and the Chickasaw nation’s flag.

Commander Herrington is a life member of the Association of Naval Aviation, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Alumni Association, a Sequoyah Fellow and a member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. He and his wife Debra have two children.

N. Scott Momaday Ph.D.

Navarre Scott Momaday was born in Lawton, Oklahoma and spent the first year of his life at his grandparents' home on the Kiowa Indian reservation, where his father was born and raised. When he was one year old, Scott's parents moved to Arizona. His father was a painter. His mother, who is of English and Cherokee descent, became an author of children's books. Both worked as teachers on Indian reservations when Scott was growing up, and the boy was exposed not only to the Kiowa traditions of his father's family but to the Navajo, Apache and Pueblo Indian cultures of the Southwest. Momaday early developed an interest in literature, especially poetry.
After graduation from the University of New Mexico, and a year of teaching on the Apache reservation at Jicarilla, Momaday won a poetry fellowship to the creative writing program at Stanford University. Under the guidance of poet and critic Yvor Winters, Momaday earned a doctorate in English literature in 1963, and accepted a teaching post at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
In 1969, his first novel, House Made of Dawn was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Momaday moved to the University of California at Berkeley as Professor of English and Comparative Literature. He designed a graduate program of Indian Studies and taught a popular course in American Indian literature and mythology. His long study of the Kiowa oral tradition bore fruit that year in The Way to Rainy Mountain , a collection of Kiowa tales illustrated by his father Al Momaday. That same year, he was initiated into the Gourd Dance Society, the ancient fraternal organization of the Kiowas.
His 1971 essay "The American Land Ethic" drew public attention to the tradition of respect for nature practiced by the native peoples and its significance to modern American society in an era of environmental degradation. Angle of Geese and Other Poems was published in 1974, a memoir, The Names , in 1976. A second volume of poems, The Gourd Dancer (1976) was partly written while he was lecturing in Moscow in 1974. At the same time, he took up drawing and painting seriously for the first time in his life. Since then his work has been exhibited throughout the United States. His newer books are frequently illustrated with his own paintings and etchings.
Professor Momaday left Berkeley for Stanford in 1973. Since 1982, he has lived in Tucson and taught at the University of Arizona, giving occasional lectures at other schools including Princeton and Columbia. His more recent books include: The Ancient Child (1989), In the Presence of the Sun (1991), Circle of Wonder: A Native American Christmas Story (1993), and The Native Americans: Indian Country (1993). He is also the author of a play, The Indolent Boys, and was featured in the award-winning documentary film Remembered Earth: New Mexico's High Desert. In 2007, President George W. Bush awarded N. Scott Momaday the National Medal of Arts, "for his writings and his work that celebrate and preserve Native American art and oral tradition."

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Birthdays ~Happy Birthday from Warrior Nation!

For the Warriors who fight and Die...

so the rest of us may fight to Live.

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