Friday, November 30, 2012

More Estate Planning Questions Answered

Please join Morgan O’Brien and Don Ragona December 5 for the second installment of our estate planning series, Circle of Life Show.  In addition to a review of estate planning basics, we will discuss non-cash gifts, such as stocks, real estate, motor vehicles and other assets.

If you haven’t reviewed your estate planning documents recently, year end is a good time to make sure everything is in order.  Many life events—children graduating, buying or selling a house, contemplating retirement—could have an impact on your will, estate taxes or other plans.   They could also impact your year-end financial planning.

Join us for a free, 1-hour session where we answer your questions directly.  Click below to sign up today.

Title:  Circle of Life Show

Date: Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Time:    6:00 PM - 7:00 PM MDT

Join us for a Free Webinar!

Space is limited:

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

This hour-long session with Don Ragona and Morgan O'Brien will offer an exploration of wills and general estate planning questions.  The session will include opportunities for questions and answers.

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Mac®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

Mobile attendees
Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet

Celebrate Heritage Month: Focus on Climate Change

November is American Indian & Alaska Native Heritage Month. Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people.  It’s also an opportunity to highlight the important contributions of Native peoples and the shared histories between tribal nations and other communities.

Throughout Heritage Month, the Native American Rights Fund has looked at different elements of Native heritage from both an historical and contemporary perspective.  Our final installment looks at climate change.

Native Peoples & Climate Change:
Why Indigenous peoples need to be at the table.


"If you are not at the table, you are on the menu."

Indigenous communities now find themselves at ground zero in a fight that may well determine the survival of their way of life and as sovereign nations.  A fight where it is imperative that they be given a voice and a seat at the table.

Indigenous peoples, who historically have left a negligible carbon footprint, are suffering disproportionately from the effects of climate change.  They have few resources available to mitigate the effects of climate change and to adapt to them.  What they do have is a resource that could change the debate and lead to affirmative solutions—eons-long understanding of climate and adapting to its changes.

The cultural heritage of most Native American and Alaska Native peoples incorporates considerable knowledge and experience of the natural world, including meteorological and ecological phenomena.  Native Americans have had a practical understanding of chemistry, physics, agronomy, meteorology and astronomy since long before the sciences themselves were developed.

In fact, Native Americans have known for thousands of years that there was a black hole located through the center of the bowl in the big dipper. NASA discovered it just a few years ago.  Maize is the result of many years of cultivation and domestication of a wild grass known as teosinte. It is also believed that the domestication of maize is directly related to the rise of civilization in Mesoamerica.  Because cedar wood has a negative charge which repels the negative charge of lightening, throwing the cedar into the fire reduced the risk that lightening would strike the area where the people were.

Human beings act upon and are acted upon by their environments.  Current debates over global warming indicate the limitations of current scientific theories to account with absolute precision for natural phenomena.  This mutual interaction is a process that shapes both environment and culture.

People of European ancestry have gradually awakened to the profound nature of indigenous knowledge accumulated over many millennia.  Only recently has the realization dawned on some of them that the scientific knowledge of indigenous cultures holds information of tremendous importance for the planet.  Mother Earth is definitely in crisis and indigenous knowledge of ecosystems points the way to the paradigm shift and change in lifestyle that is needed at this time – a paradigm shift of healing and revitalization for all living things.  In this way, the indigenous communities can become the natural guides to restoring balance and harmony in the world.

Indigenous cultures, with their close ties to landscapes and ecological systems, are first-hand observers of climate change and bring first-hand experience of the changes that accompany a changing climate.  The changes in climate often represent life or death choices for subsistence economies. Indigenous peoples need a seat at the table.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Niwot Native American Film Fesitval - December 7, 2012 ~ Reservation Soldiers


First Friday, December 7 -  7:30pm-9:30pm
Located at Elysian Fields Auctions 6924 79th Street, Niwot, Colorado  (Look for the signs!)
Festival is free – Donations accepted!
Film Festival Director Ava Hamilton (Arapaho filmmaker) will introduce the film.

December 7, 2012 ~ Reservation Soldiers -  Filmed over the course of several years, Reservation Soldiers focuses on the relationship between the Canadian military and aboriginal youth.  For Blair, Mahekan and Noel, three teenage boys from remote Western Canadian reservations, the military represents an opportunity they don't often see at home - adventure, discipline and cold hard cash.  When they attend Bold Eagle, a six-week military boot camp, they face the reality of military life and ponder a possible future in the Canadian Army.  Aboriginal recruiter Sergeant Ron Leblanc knows exactly where they're coming from.  After 16 years in the military he is facing a difficult decision; pursuing a career with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or "paying back" the military for helping him escape his troubled youth by shipping out to Afghanistan, Canada's most dangerous mission since the Korean War.  For these young men, the Canadian military seems like the best option, but is it the only option for their future?
Lisa Jackson, filmaker 

Festival is hosted by Native American Producers Alliance & Ni-wot Prairie Productions

Sponsors: Elysian Fields Auctions, Native American Rights Fund, and WHIZZBang Studios
Contact info: 303-931-3084

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Celebrate Heritage Month: Focus on Thanksgiving

November is American Indian & Alaska Native Heritage Month. Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. It's also an opportunity to highlight the important contributions of Native peoples and the shared histories between tribal nations and other communities.

Throughout Heritage Month, the Native American Rights Fund will look at different elements of Native heritage from both an historical and contemporary perspective. Where applicable, we will also highlight some of NARF's work that relates to the area.


Each November in America we celebrate the harvest festival of Thanksgiving. Over the years, much lore has evolved surrounding early Thanksgivings and feelings of brotherhood and good will between pilgrim settlers and the Native inhabitants of North America. Sadly, most of these stories are inaccurate at best, and serve to ignore or gloss over a broad history of atrocities. In our hearts, we cannot celebrate Thanksgiving Day in the way revisionist history teaches our school children. We still feel the pain and suffering of our ancestors as the Pilgrims celebrated their thanksgivings by theft of our lands and the genocide of our peoples.

Still, Native Americans are grateful for all that nature provides, and many of us celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in our own ways. Moreover, we give thanks every day as we greet the morning star in the eastern sky giving thanks to the Creator, our families, our ancestors and our survival.

We wish you and your families a happy holiday, and hope you are able to set images of pilgrims aside and join in gratitude for the bounty the living earth provides us. In that spirit, let us share with you the words of "Thankgiving" from our Mohawk relatives in belief that one day there will truly be a Thanksgiving for all.

Thanksgiving Address
Greetings to the Natural World
The People
Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as people.
Now our minds are one.

The Earth Mother
We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our mother, we send greetings and thanks.
Now our minds are one.

The Waters
We give thanks to all the waters of the world for quenching our thirst and providing us with strength. Water is life. We know its power in many forms-waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the spirit of Water.
Now our minds are one.

The Fish
We turn our minds to the all the Fish life in the water. They were instructed to cleanse and purify the water. They also give themselves to us as food. We are grateful that we can still find pure water. So, we turn now to the Fish and send our greetings and thanks.
Now our minds are one.

The Plants
Now we turn toward the vast fields of Plant life. As far as the eye can see, the Plants grow, working many wonders. They sustain many life forms. With our minds gathered together, we give thanks and look forward to seeing Plant life for many generations to come.
Now our minds are one.

The Food Plants
With one mind, we turn to honor and thank all the Food Plants we harvest from the garden. Since the beginning of time, the grains, vegetables, beans and berries have helped the people survive. Many other living things draw strength from them too. We gather all the Plant Foods together as one and send them a greeting of thanks.
Now our minds are one.

The Medicine Herbs
Now we turn to all the Medicine herbs of the world. From the beginning they were instructed to take away sickness. They are always waiting and ready to heal us. We are happy there are still among us those special few who remember how to use these plants for healing. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the Medicines and to the keepers of the Medicines.
Now our minds are one.

The Animals
We gather our minds together to send greetings and thanks to all the Animal life in the world. They have many things to teach us as people. We are honored by them when they give up their lives so we may use their bodies as food for our people. We see them near our homes and in the deep forests. We are glad they are still here and we hope that it will always be so.
Now our minds are one.

The Trees
We now turn our thoughts to the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who have their own instructions and uses. Some provide us with shelter and shade, others with fruit, beauty and other useful things. Many people of the world use a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind, we greet and thank the Tree life.
Now our minds are one.

The Birds
We put our minds together as one and thank all the Birds who move and fly about over our heads. The Creator gave them beautiful songs. Each day they remind us to enjoy and appreciate life. The Eagle was chosen to be their leader. To all the Birds-from the smallest to the largest-we send our joyful greetings and thanks.
Now our minds are one.

The Four Winds
We are all thankful to the powers we know as the Four Winds. We hear their voices in the moving air as they refresh us and purify the air we breathe. They help us to bring the change of seasons. From the four directions they come, bringing us messages and giving us strength. With one mind, we send our greetings and thanks to the Four Winds.
Now our minds are one.

The Thunderers
Now we turn to the west where our grandfathers, the Thunder Beings, live. With lightning and thundering voices, they bring with them the water that renews life. We are thankful that they keep those evil things made by Okwiseres underground. We bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to our Grandfathers, the Thunderers.
Now our minds are one.

The Sun
We now send greetings and thanks to our eldest Brother, the Sun. Each day without fail he travels the sky from east to west, bringing the light of a new day. He is the source of all the fires of life. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Brother, the Sun.
Now our minds are one.

Grandmother Moon
We put our minds together to give thanks to our oldest Grandmother, the Moon, who lights the night-time sky. She is the leader of woman all over the world, and she governs the movement of the ocean tides. By her changing face we measure time, and it is the Moon who watches over the arrival of children here on Earth. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Grandmother, the Moon.
Now our minds are one.

The Stars
We give thanks to the Stars who are spread across the sky like jewelry. We see them in the night, helping the Moon to light the darkness and bringing dew to the gardens and growing things. When we travel at night, they guide us home. With our minds gathered together as one, we send greetings and thanks to the Stars.
Now our minds are one.

The Enlightened Teachers
We gather our minds to greet and thank the enlightened Teachers who have come to help throughout the ages. When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind us of the way we were instructed to live as people. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to these caring teachers.
Now our minds are one.

The Creator
Now we turn our thoughts to the creator, or Great Spirit, and send greetings and thanks for all the gifts of Creation. Everything we need to live a good life is here on this Mother Earth. For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the Creator.
Now our minds are one.

Closing Words
We have now arrived at the place where we end our words. Of all the things we have named, it was not our intention to leave anything out. If something was forgotten, we leave it to each individual to send such greetings and thanks in their own way.
Now our minds are one.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Celebrate Heritage Month: Focus on Education

November is American Indian & Alaska Native Heritage Month.  Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people.  It is also an opportunity to highlight the important contributions of Native peoples and the shared histories between tribal nations and other communities.

Throughout Heritage Month, the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) will look at different elements of Native heritage from both an historical and contemporary perspective.  Where applicable, we will also highlight some of NARF’s work that relates to the area.


In our first installment for Heritage Month, we reflected on the roles of Native Americans as both traditional and modern day warriors.  Tomorrow, we will examine some truths and fictions about tribes in relation to Thanksgiving.  Today we will look at education.

It has been well documented that Native American communities face some of the greatest educational challenges in the country in terms of keeping kids in school, academic performance and college degree attainment.  Reasons for this are many and intertwined, but often include inadequate funding, few employment opportunities on reservations, lack of cultural context and historic trauma from a legacy Indian boarding school abuses.

There is some good news.  While dropout rates are high, many Native Americans ultimately go back to school.  The percentage with a high school diploma by age 25 is 67%, not far behind the national average of 75%.  There is also improved achievement in those few schools that have welcomed tribal involvement in decision making and worked to include cultural and/or Native language content into their curricula. More on that later.

First, let’s look at an excerpt from a 1784 essay written by Benjamin Franklin about Native Americans, titled: “Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America.” The excerpt relates an exchange that occurred during the 1774 negotiation of the Treaty of Lancaster in Pennsylvania between the government of Virginia and the Six Nations (a confederation of Iroquois tribes: Seneca, Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, Mohawk, and Tuscarora.)

After the principal business was settled, the commissioners from Virginia acquainted the Indians by a speech, that there was at Williamsburg a college, with a fund for educating Indian youth; and that, if the Six Nations would send down half a dozen of their young lads to that college, the government would take care that they should be well provided for, and instructed in all the learning of the white people.  It is one of the Indian rules of politeness not to answer a public proposition the same day that it is made; they think it would be treating it as a light matter, and that they show it respect by taking time to consider it, as of a matter important.  They therefore deferred their answer till the day following; when their speaker began, by expressing their deep sense of the kindness of the Virginia government, in making them that offer; “for we know,” says he, “that you highly esteem the kind of learning taught in those Colleges, and that the maintenance of our young men, while with you, would be very expensive to you.  We are convinced, therefore, that you mean to do us good by your proposal; and we thank you heartily.  But you, who are wise, must know that different nations have different conceptions of things; and you will therefore not take it amiss, if our ideas of this kind of education happen not to be the same with yours.  We have had some experience of it; several of our young people were formerly brought up at the colleges of the northern provinces; they were instructed in all your sciences; but, when they came back to us, they were bad runners, ignorant of every means of living in the woods, unable to bear either cold or hunger, knew neither how to build a cabin, take a deer, or kill an enemy, spoke our language imperfectly, were therefore neither fit for hunters, warriors, nor counselors; they were totally good for nothing.  We are however not the less obliged by your kind offer, though we decline accepting it; and, to show our grateful sense of it, if the gentlemen of Virginia will send us a dozen of their sons, we will take great care of their education, instruct them in all we know, and make men of them.”

More than two decades ago, NARF began helping tribes establish tribal education departments (TEDs). The goal was to reassert tribal sovereignty over education of Native youth.  Today, more than 200 tribes in 32 states have TEDs.  NARF represents a consortium of more than 70 of these education departments, known collectively as the Tribal Education Departments National Assembly (TEDNA).

Together, NARF and TEDNA have guided an education bill—the Native CLASS Act—through committees in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.  The bills have yet to make their way to the floor, but we remain hopeful of action.  Meantime, the federal budget for 2012 for the first time includes an appropriation of $2 million for pilot programs that will use a combination of local tribal oversight and traditional values and context to help lower dropout rates and raise test scores.  Grants for pilot programs were awarded to four tribes: the Nez Perce Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation, the Navajo Nation, and the Chickasaw Nation.  All of these tribes have been long time members of TEDNA.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

News: Alaska Native Voters Defend the Constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act Cite Continuing Need for Act’s Protections

Parties and attorneys in case
Pictured: top left: Michael Martin of the Kasigluk Traditional Council, party in this case and Nick, et. al. v. Bethel, et. al. (Nick v. Bethel); top right: James Tucker, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, co-counsel in this case and Nick v. Bethel; bottom left: Robert Enoch of the Tuntutuliak Traditional Council, party in Nick v. Bethel; bottom right: Natalie Landreth, Senior Staff Attorney, Native American Rights Fund.
November 14, 2012

CONTACT: Natalie Landreth, Native American Rights Fund, (907) 257-0501 and (c) (907) 360-3423l Jeffrey Mittman, ACLU of Alaska, (907) 263-2002 / (c) (907) 230-0665

ANCHORAGE — On Tuesday, November 6, four Alaska Natives and four tribal governments represented by the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) requested that a federal court in Washington, D.C. allow them to join Eric Holder, Attorney General of the United States, in defending the constitutionality of provisions of the Voting Rights Act challenged by the State of Alaska. The case is Alaska v. Holder.

Since 1975, Alaska has been one of just three states covered in its entirety by Section 4(f)(4) of the Voting Rights Act. That provision applies to Alaska because on the coverage date, more than five percent of its voting-age citizens were Alaska Natives, the State conducted English-only elections, and less than 50 percent of eligible citizens either were not registered to vote or did not vote. Because of its coverage under Section 4(f)(4), Alaska is required to provide all voting information statewide in Alaska Native languages at every stage of the voting process from registration through casting a ballot. Alaska also is required to comply with Section 5 of the Act, which requires the State to show that any change in its voting policies or procedures does not have either the purpose or the effect of discriminating against minority voters.

In 2006, Congress reauthorized Sections 4(f)(4) and 5 of the Voting Rights Act for an additional 25 years. Congress extended those provisions under its broad enforcement powers to protect the right to vote under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. In exercising its broad authority, Congress held nearly two dozen hearings with nearly 100 witnesses in 2005 and 2006. Three of the attorneys representing the Alaska Native voters and tribes, Natalie Landreth, Laughlin McDonald, and Dr. James Thomas Tucker, were among the witnesses who presented evidence of the continuing need among voters, including Alaska Natives, for the Act’s protection from discrimination in voting and other areas including education that impact the right to vote.

During the reauthorization debate, then-Lieutenant Governor Loren Leman opposed the continued coverage of Alaska, claiming that the State was in full compliance with the Voting Rights Act.
However, a federal court disagreed. On July 31, 2008, United States District Judge Timothy Burgess issued a landmark injunction finding that Alaska’s Division of Elections had done little to provide Yup’ik- speaking voters in the Bethel region with equal opportunities to participate in the voting process through their failure to provide voting information in Yup’ik and denying election-day help from the person of the voter’s choice. In 2009, the Attorney General of the United States relied upon Judge Burgess’s findings and evidence of ongoing voting discrimination in violation of the federal Constitution to certify the Bethel Region for federal observers. Those federal observers help identify and document the State’s violations of federal law.

Among the four individual Alaska Native voters, Anna Nick was the lead plaintiff in Nick et al. v. Bethel et al. and established the State’s violations of the language and voter assistance provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Willie Kasayulie was the lead plaintiff in Kasayulie v. State of Alaska, and established that Alaska’s history and practice of unequal funding for schools in Alaska Native villages violated federal and state law; the State settled the case last year after it agreed to provide $146 million for five rural school construction projects. Mike Williams is a registered voter and member of the Tribal Council of the Akiak Native Community. Vicki Otte is a registered voter who lives in Anchorage, former redistricting board member and long-time advocate of protecting the Native vote.

The four federally recognized tribal governments represent hundreds of registered Alaska Native voters throughout Alaska who have benefited from the Act’s protection of their fundamental right to vote. Kasigluk Traditional Council is in the Bethel region of Alaska and was a plaintiff in the Nick litigation. Emmonak Tribal Council is located in the Wade Hampton region and is one of the Alaska Native villages impacted by the Kasayulie litigation. Togiak Traditional Council is located in the Dillingham region. Levelock Village Council is in the Lake and Peninsula Borough.

“The four Alaska Natives and four tribal governments represent a cross-section of voters who continue to face barriers to voting as a result of the State’s neglect, unequal treatment, and violations of the law,” said NARF attorney Natalie Landreth, who is lead co-counsel for the voters seeking to intervene in the federal lawsuit. “State officials have shown they will not comply with the law until a court orders them to do so, or they face the threat of a lawsuit,” Landreth noted. “For example, they failed to implement Section 203 of the VRA for more than 35 years before the Nick case.” Landreth continued, “The Nick lawsuit, which established voting rights violations, was settled in 2010 with continuing oversight through this year. The Kasayulie lawsuit was only just settled last year. Discrimination in Alaska is not a thing of the past, and federal oversight of Alaska’s elections is no accident.”

Jeffrey Mittman, Executive Director of the ACLU of Alaska, agreed. “Voting is a fundamental right and central to the proper functioning of our democracy. We cannot allow to stand efforts by any State official to weaken voting protections.” Mittman explained, “Alaska Natives have had to bring costly lawsuits that have lasted many years to get the State to comply with federal and state law in areas such as voting and education. Their hard-fought victories have resulted in progress; but that progress is fragile and will quickly be undone without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act.” According to Mittman, “Congress had extensive evidence, which has been confirmed by successful litigation since 2006, that shows its decision to continue to apply Sections 4(f)(4) and 5 to Alaska was a reasonable exercise of its broad authority under the federal Constitution.” Laughlin McDonald, of the ACLU Voting Rights Project in Atlanta added, “The VRA is the crown jewel among civil rights laws. Without it, there would be a significant decline in minority political participation.”

One of the would-be intervenors, Mike Williams of Akiak, said “we decided to join this lawsuit because if you don’t raise your voices, they will not be heard. This court in Washington, DC needs to hear directly from us, the voters, about how important the Voting Rights Act is to us. If the State of Alaska thought we were going to sit this one out, they were sorely mistaken.”

Attorneys for the Alaska Natives are Landreth and Erin Dougherty of NARF, Thomas Stenson of the ACLU of Alaska, Laughlin McDonald of the national ACLU Voting Rights Project, and Dr. James Thomas Tucker, of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard and Smith LLP.

More information about the ACLU’s work on voting rights is available at:

Friday, November 9, 2012

NARF Staff Attorney Richard Guest Speaks at EPA Event Recognizing National American Indian Heritage Month

Earlier this week NARF Staff Attorney Richard Guest spoke at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of General Counsel Special Emphasis Program, “National American Indian Heritage Month – Serving Our People, Serving Our Nations: Native Visions.”  Richard spoke about NARF’s work, with a special emphasis on the Tribal Supreme Court Project.  To learn more about the Tribal Supreme Court Project, click here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Chief Niwot Series - Urban Rez

Chief Niwot Series - Thursday's Talk
Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 7:00 PM
at the Native American Rights Fund
1506 Broadway, Boulder, CO

In conjunction with the powerful exhibit, Chief Niwot ~ Legend & Legacy, the Boulder History Museum and the Native American Rights Fund are proud to co-sponsor a thought-provoking series of programs presented by distinguished historians and guests. This series further explores the culture of the Arapaho people, regional historical figures, the devastating effects of the Sand Creek Massacre, as well as contemporary Native Americans on the Wind River Reservation and in urban centers.

This Thursday • November 8 • Urban Rez
Join award-winning Rocky Mountain PBS filmmaker Lisa D. Olken for a preview screening and discussion of her latest work-in-progress film, Urban Rez. Urban Rez is a documentary film exploring the history of the 1952-1973 Voluntary Relocation Program that encouraged American Indians to leave their homelands for metropolitan areas. Slated for national distribution on PBS, the film shares stories that capture how individual choices and government decisions have impacted families for generations. With vignettes that illustrate the way different tribes and different generations experienced urban culture, the documentary reveals a little-known American story. Olken previously produced the award-winning two-part film, La Raza de Colorado, for Rocky Mountain PBS.

Purchase tickets online through PayPal.
  • $10 per program or Series Package of all 8 programs for $80
  • $5 per program or Series Package of all 8 for $40 for Museum Members and NARF Donors (Save money and become a BHM Member today!).
For more information or questions, please contact the Museum at 303/449.3464.

For a complete list of the series, click here.

Veterans' Day - Remember those that served

In many Native American traditions, the role of warrior is a sacred trust. Though a degree of glory might be won, that was not the primary goal. Protecting family and community, personal responsibility and respect for traditions played much bigger roles.

Crazy Horse, one of the warriors best known to a wide audience, was a quiet and humble man, rarely speaking of his experiences in battle. Yet his community was well aware of his courage and sacrifices and what they meant to their survival. Today, Tribes and Native communities across the country continue this tradition of respect for warriors and their sacrifices.

Despite a sometimes contentious relationship with the U.S. Government, Native Americans remain resolutely patriotic. Native young men and women are among the first to answer the nation’s call when soldiers are needed, serving with distinction in every branch of the service. When they return from service, soldiers are remembered and thanked not just for a day, but for a lifetime. Veterans are accorded a place of honor at the front of every parade and procession at every pow-wow and gathering.

On Veterans’ Day at NARF, we will be honoring our employees and relatives who have served in the military with a feast, prayers and songs. Please take a moment that day to recognize the veterans in your own lives, whether friends, co-workers or loved ones. All our warriors are sacred. Let us remember them on Veterans' Day and every day.