Native American Heritage Month 2021

  • Published
  • 81st Training Wing

Honoring the dedication and service of Native Americans all November long… and every other day of the year

Over the past century, the observance of Native American heritage has grown from one day to a month long celebration. November was first declared as National Native American Heritage Month in 1990 by President George H. W. Bush. This month serves as an opportunity to learn and appreciate Native American culture as well as the history.

Since the Revolutionary War, a significant number of Native Americans have served in all of the nation’s wars. One of these proud members is First Lieutenant Marcella Ryan Le Beau who served in World War II. Born in South Dakota, Le Beau is of American Indian and Alaskan Native decent, belonging to the Cheyenne River Sioux and Two Kettle Band tribes.

While working in a hospital in Pontiac, Michigan Le Beau heard of the Army’s need for nurses, and decided to join. Le Beau served in the Army Nurse Corps from 1943 to 1946 at the 76th General Hospital in Belgium. During her time, Le Beau never encountered discrimination because of her heritage. Whenever her colleagues learned her great-grandfather was a chief, they assumed she was an Indian princess.



National Museum of the American Indian - Why We Serve

The National Museum of the American Indian is offering more opportunities to learn about Native American heritage. Why We Serve honors the generations of Native Americans who have served in the armed forces of the United States—often in extraordinary numbers—since the American Revolution. The National Museum of the American Indian with the Smithsonian Institution hosts an online platform packed with rich literature, outstanding art pieces, videos, and testimonies from Native Americans who have dedicated their lives to service of the United States. If you are interested in learning more, please visit


More Interesting Facts about Native American Culture

Yaksu - In Catawba Language, spoken by the Catawba Indian Nation in South Carolina the word for “Mother” is “yaksu” (yahk-soo).

Did you know more than half of the U.S. states trace their names to Indian origins?

Those states include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.


The Three Sisters – The Three Sisters refer to corn, beans, and squash, which grow together and are used as staples of a Native diet. Here is a recipe to a soup that includes all three. Give it a try!

Ingredients (Makes 4 servings)

3 tablespoons butter
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 butternut or acorn squash, pre-baked and pureed
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup yellow corn kernels
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
½ cup hominy, cooked
1 cup white beans, cooked
1⁄8 teaspoon crushed red pepper


  • Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Add onion and garlic, cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender.
  • Stir in spices, cook for 1 minute.
  • Add stock, corn, hominy, and beans, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes to develop flavors.
  • Stir in pureed squash, cook for 5 minutes or until heated through.
  • Serve warm with chives and plain yogurt as a garnish.


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