Southwest Solutions celebrates Native American Heritage Month

Southwest Solutions celebrates Native American Heritage Month
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By Steve Palackdharry

Native Americans have rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and have made important contributions to our nation. Every November we celebrate those during Native American Heritage Month.

This year about 40 Southwest Solutions’ staff and several community residents commemorated the event with a potluck and presentations by two local members of Native American tribes.

The members, Lisa Brunk and Ray Elwart, shared traditional Native American dance, poetry and song along with their own personal histories of work with tribal communities.

Highlights included a rap that Elwart wrote and sang at Standing Rock North Dakota and in Flint about the rights of all people to clean drinking water.

Lisa Brunk and Mayte Penman at the Native American Heritage Month celebration.

Brunk performed a traditional blessing and healing dance in a jingle dress that she made. She is pursuing a master’s degree in education at Northern Michigan and is a certified drug counselor.

Brunk and Elwart also brought dishes typically prepared by their tribes for the potluck. Other dishes, made by Southwest Solution staff and community residents, were representative of Native American cooking.

Southwest Solutions’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee sponsored the event as part of the Lunch & Learn series.

– Top picture: Members of Southwest Solutions’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee help serve lunch at the Native American Heritage Month celebration.

– Steve Palackdharry is director of communications at Southwest Solutions.

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