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Old 01-22-2013, 01:13 PM   #1
AmigoKumeyaay
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Natives at the 2013 Inauguration

Natives at the 2013 Inauguration

http://www.publicinsightnetwork.org/...woman-warrior/

How did you start the Native American Women Warriors?

It’s kind of a funny story. I didn’t mean to start a color guard.

What happened was, two other Native American woman veterans and I went to the Denver March Powwow in 2010. I made us some dresses to wear: traditional-style dresses, red, white, and blue and Indian pink, and I sewed on our combat patches, ranks, the American flag, that kind of thing.

We were lining up for the grand entry, and all of a sudden the arena director comes running toward us. He hands me a tablet and says, “I need you to put your name, branch, your rank, the nation you represent, and the name of your color guard.” I stopped. I said, “I’m sorry sir, there must have been a misunderstanding. We’re not a color guard, we’re not in uniform, we don’t have flags.” He said, “But your dresses.” I said, “This is the first time we ever put these dresses on. We were just trying to show them off.”

He asked me if we had served in any campaign, and I said yes, Operation Iraqi Freedom. He said, “Okay then, we’re going to call you the Army Women’s Iraqi Freedom Veterans and we’re going to put you last in the line of color guards.”

When they announced us, he said, “History has been made today. I have the honor today to announce our first all-female color guard.” Man, the drums went wild. War cries, yelling, and we just froze. People started taking our pictures, inviting us to their powwows.

That’s how it started, and it just kept expanding. Later we changed the name to Native American Women Warriors so we didn’t discount the women from the other branches who wanted to join. Now we’ve got about 25 members in states all around the country. I’m making dresses like mad! I’ve probably sewed 30 of them at this point.

The Inaugural Parade takes place on Sunday, Jan. 21. Mitchelene BigMan and nine other Women Warriors representing every military branch but the Coast Guard will march the route in beaded moccasins; BigMan will carry the American flag.
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