Portfolio | Photo Blog | Austin Powwow and American Indian Heritage Festival 2018

I learned about a traveling exhibition, “Patriot Nations: Native Americans in Our Nation’s Armed Forces.” The exhibition, “tells the remarkable history of the brave American Indian and Alaska Native men and women who have served in the United States military. Native peoples have participated in every major US military encounter from the Revolutionary War to today’s conflicts in the Middle East, serving at a higher rate in proportion to their population than any other ethnic group.”

The Smithsonian goes on to note, “The contributions of Native servicemen and women have been largely unrecognized. This will soon change. The Patriot Nations exhibition announces the development of the National Native American Veterans Memorial, requisitioned by Congress to be placed on the grounds of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.”

It is my hope more institutions across America will seek out the Smithsonian exhibition and host it in their communities. Follow the link to learn more.

The primary theme of the 2018 Austin Powwow was, “Passing Down the Legacy.” Shown are just a few Instagram photographs I was inspired to take that demonstrate just that: older generations bringing younger members of the community into the fold through traditional dance and ceremony.

A highlight of this annual gathering is the patriotic “Grand Entry,” when the American flag is brought brought into the arena, and American Indian veterans are honored for their service to our nation. It is a dramatic and inspiring march that officially launches the Powwow. Everyone involved – dressed in full regalia – marches together in a magnificent display of tribal pride. Following the Grand Entry, dance contests showcasing the talents of all ages begin and continue through the afternoon.

This event is organized and implemented by Great Promise for American Indians, a nonprofit organization. “The organization was founded in 1991, after GPAI members returned from the historic White House Conference on American Indians.  Since that time, GPAI has worked to connect the American Indian community with the public, educational institutions, museums, government agencies and corporations for a more accurate understanding of both historical and modern American Indian customs, traditions and lifestyles. Organized and incorporated in 1992, GPAI reaches beyond even state boundaries to find artists and ambassadors to carry out its mission.”

Consider a donation to Great Promise for American Indians, and please urge your community leaders to bring “Patriot Nations: Native Americans in Our Nation’s Armed Forces” to your community!

The rough iPhone videos below have appeared on my Instagram feed. I uploaded them to YouTube to make them more accessible.

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