Native American Indian Heritage Month begins

  • Published
  • By Kevin Gaddie
  • Team Eglin Public Affairs

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Eglin kicked off its Native American Indian Heritage Month celebration with the 35th Annual Thunderbird Intertribal Powwow at the Niceville Festival Grounds Nov. 3-5.

The event also began the special observance's activities for surrounding bases and local communities.  It recognizes intertribal cultures and educates the public about the heritage, history, art, and traditions of the American Indian and Alaska Native people.

The Thunderbird Intertribal Powwow is the largest and longest running Air Force-sponsored powwow.  It featured authentic Native American drummers, singers, dancers, story tellers, craft makers and more.

Kirby Locklear, Thunderbird Intertribal Powwow chairman and a Lumbee tribe member, said the event brings tribal representatives from across the U.S. together to share Native American Indian culture with attendees.

“Every tribe brings its own unique culture,” he said.  “People can see colors, beadwork and dress in an Indian tribe’s regalia, significant to that tribe’s history.  Those features vary by region and territory.”

Col. Tom Tauer, the 96th Test Wing deputy commander, spoke at the event.

“We come together to celebrate the rich tapestry of cultures that have graced this land for countless generations,” he said.  “We honor the enduring legacies of the indigenous peoples who have shaped and continue to influence our military and our world in profound ways.”    

For more information, call (850) 863-5311.