Ruth Hopkins: Don't forget to honor Indian women veterans

"Within Indigenous societies, women are sacred. They personify Ina Maka, Mother Earth—and all creation. Not only did they give rise to all proud, red nations, they continue to play crucial roles in every native culture and belief system in existence. With a quiet strength and humility few men possess, our women have given of themselves and sacrificed for the greater good for those they love in a myriad ways, for countless generations.

Women may appear soft on the outside, with warm skin and a gentle touch that sooths a crying child or comforts a weary soul; however, they’ve also been gifted with their ancestral grandmothers’ steel resolve. Circumstances may cause them to bend, but the spirit of a woman bathed in wisdom and love is seldom broken. A native woman who is a warrior fights with her heart above all.

Over the centuries, thousands of native women have fought alongside their male counterparts as warriors, soldiers, and leaders. Unfortunately they are rarely recognized, although they’ve demanded no such accolades. A ikce winyan (humble woman) performs her duties because that is who she is, not to satisfy her ego. Yet these female veterans must be venerated. It is our responsibility as their relatives to insure that their stories are shared. Our children should grow up learning about courageous warriors, and respect their journey."

Get the Story:
Ruth Hopkins: Don’t Forget Our Brave Women on This Veteran’s Day (Indian Country Today 11/11)

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