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Minnesota National Guard
The Minnesota National Guard celebrates
Native American Heritage

The Minnesota National Guard celebrates Native American Heritage  American Indians have eagerly served in the military for more than 200 years, in spite of a government which did not always keep its word to their ancestors  As early as the 18th century, American Indians were recognized by American military leaders General George Washington in 1778 stated he thought the American Indians would be great scouts and light troops Since then, American Indians have been involved in every war since the War of 1812 During the Vietnam War, more than 90 percent of American Indians were volunteers

While there are few circumstances of documented overt prejudice while in uniform, Navajo Code Talkers were sometimes mistaken by their own men for Japanese soldiers But as one code talker recalled, Navajos had a chance to prove wrong the bigots back home; the military prized them for speaking their own language For many American Indian veterans, the honor of defending their country overrode all other considerations Currently, American Indians have the highest record of service per capita in comparison to other ethnic groups It is deeply rooted in their culture to serve their country and they value a proud warrior tradition At the end of the 20th century there were almost 190,000 American Indian Veterans

Veterans Day and Thanksgiving are two popular holidays celebrated every year in the month of November During this month of November, let's take time to reminisce and be grateful to our American Indian service members who have contributed to the success of the United States of America and its military

Download photos

LAX-4-LIFE partnership teaches Lacrosse, leadership and life skills to Native American Youth

2013 Native American Lax-4-Life Camp

Native American LAX-4-LIFE Camp Update: Story, photos and b-roll video available

National Guard supports Native American youth at lacrosse camp

Native American LAX-4-LIFE Camp Partnership

Minnesota National Guard joins the Nation in observing American Indian Heritage Month

Returning vets of color face unique challenges

Camp Ripley hosts Nation to Nation event

Helpful Links

Historical moments of Native Americans in service

American Indian Heritage Foundation

Bureau of Indian Affairs

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In The News archive

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Latest News

Woman's Veterans Initiative Shows Major Muscle with Habitat for Humanity Build

Posted: 2015-11-25  09:37 AM
WVI H4H ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Women Veterans Initiative (WVI), a group orientated toward networking Minnesota women military members and veterans brought 16 service(wo)men from all services, ages and backgrounds together, November 12, to assist in a Habitat for Humanity build. Eleven of the 16 women are current or former Minnesota National Guardsmen.

"We started celebrating Veterans Day this way in 2008 with Habitat for Humanity and enjoy coming back each year to build," said Trista Matascastillo, program officer for Veterans Voices and chairman for the WVI. "We learn new skills, build our own confidence and make new friends. There are 27,000-plus women vets in Minnesota and so often we hear that women veterans feel isolated and alone and having events like this is just another way to bring us out and together."

The group started in the morning with a brief on the tasks for the day and quickly got to work, going above and beyond by organizing the work-site and making sure there was a high attention to detail.

Empowering Girls and Influencing the Next Generation

Posted: 2015-11-17  10:51 AM
Girls Rising ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Air National Guard and the Soroptimist International of the Twin Cities partnered together to present the documentary film 'Girl Rising' at the 133rd Airlift Wing on Saturday, Nov 7 2015.

The event featured a C-130 tour for any of the attendees, which included girls as young as nine. Following the tour, the documentary film 'Girl Rising' was featured and ended with a panel discussion. Topics included overcoming obstacles, mentors and people who have inspired them along the way.

"I think events like this are essential in opening our doors to the community and raising awareness about important issues not only local, but around the world - often these are places many of our wing members have deployed to," said Master Sgt. Theresa Mensinger, Diversity and Inclusion Senior Non-commissioned officer.

Duluth's 148th Fighter Wing has new leader

Posted: 2015-11-16  07:47 AM
148FW CoC Clint Austin DULUTH, Minn. - With the handing-off of the 148th Fighter Wing's flag on Saturday, Col. Jon Safstrom has become the new wing commander.

The Duluth native assumed the leadership role from Col. Frank Stokes, who is leaving Duluth after leading the 148th for more than six years to become chief of current operations at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Va.

During Saturday's Change of Command Ceremony at the Minnesota Air National Guard base in Duluth, Stokes passed the flag of the 148th "Bulldogs" to Brig. Gen. David Hamlar, who then passed the flag to Safstrom, symbolizing the accepting of the command.

133AW and Best Buy Corporate join together to support Operation Gratitude

Posted: 2015-11-12  12:51 PM
Operation Gratitude BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing and employees from Best Buy Corporate joined forces to support Operation Gratitude at the Best Buy corporate headquarters in Bloomington, Minn., Friday, Nov. 6, 2015.

Operation Gratitude is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer-based corporation, funded entirely by private donations. Every year, Operation Gratitude sends more than 150,000 individually-addressed care packages to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed overseas.

On Friday, more than 30 members from the 133rd Airlift Wing worked side-by-side with employees of Best Buy Corporate to pack bags filled with snacks, small electronics and other items to be shipped to deployed military members overseas. The efforts paid off and the group packed nearly 1,800 bags in under an hour.

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