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Native American Heritage Month facts

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

1. Pvt.  Minnie Spotted-Wolf of Heart Butte, Montana, enlisted in the Marine Corps Women's Reserve in July 1943. She was the first female American Indian to enroll in the corps.

 

2. In the United States, the federal government recognizes Indian tribes as independent and sovereign powers. Sovereignty is the right of a nation or group of people to be self-governing. Indians are United States citizens and also citizens of their tribes. Like other Americans, Indians are subject to federal laws, but they are not always subject to state laws because Indian reservations are held in trust by the federal government. A government-to-government relationship exists between each sovereign tribe and the U.S. government.

 

3. Ben Knighthorse Campbell was the first American Indian in history to chair the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and was the only American Indian serving in the Senate when he retired in 2005.

 

4. The Alamo Scouts were a top secret reconnaissance unit that operated in the southwest Pacific during World War II. They performed 108 missions without losing a single man, including two POW camp raids. They are recognized by the Army as the forerunner of the modern special forces. In fact, the first Alamo Scouts class, one quarter of the enlisted graduates were American Indian