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Certain to captivate the audience’s attention, the Engineering and Support Center will host this year’s Team Redstone Native American Indian Heritage Observance at Bob Jones Auditorium, Nov. 13 from 10-11 a.m.

Angela Morton, the Huntsville Center’s chief of Equal Employment Opportunity, said the Huntsville Center is proud to introduce Yvette Running Horse Collin as the program’s keynote speaker.

Running Horse Collin is an award-winning journalist who has held various executive positions at nonprofit institutions around the country. She has advised state, federal and Fortune 500 organizations on Native American policy, lecturing extensively throughout the United States and internationally on traditions and history surrounding the horse at academic and Native American leadership conferences.

She serves as presidential ambassador to the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and executive director and one of the founders of Sacred Way Sanctuary and the Native American Horse Trail in Florence.

Sanctioned by the National Park Service from 2017-18 as an official interpretive center for native heritage, Sacred Way is an “indigenous classroom” celebrating the history of the horse in the Americas and American Indian horse cultures.

Bordered by roughly two miles of streams once occupied by Indigenous Peoples 40,000 and 10,000 years ago during the Paleo period, the sanctuary lies on what was once part of the 1806 Congressional Reservation, the first federal Indian Reservation in the United States.

Over the years, the land had become a local dumping ground and, subsequently, took four years to restore. Today, hunting and pesticide use are prohibited to ensure a safe haven for horses, buffalo, sheep and other native animals once held sacred by the Indigenous People. 

In addition to Running Horse Collin’s presentation, the program will highlight cultural demonstrations from Sacred Way Sanctuary tribal members, Native American Indian food tasting, and winners of the essay and display contests.

The presentation culminates a monthlong observance of Native American Indian culture and traditions.

Originally proclaimed American Indian Day in 1983, President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional resolution in 1990 designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month. Today, it’s called Native American Indian Heritage Month, providing a platform for Native Americans to share their culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance, and ways and concepts of life in the hope of building bridges of understanding and friendship.

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