Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Jiang

PACIFIC OCEAN – USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) Multi-Cultural Heritage Committee (MCHC) held a National American Indian Heritage Month observance in the ship’s hangar bay, Dec. 17.

National American Indian Heritage Month is observed in November. However, due to operational requirements, John C. Stennis held its observance as it returned to its homeport of Bremerton, Washington.

The ceremony featured Sailors taking the stage to speak about Native American contributions from history, followed with a performance of a traditional dance.

“I’m happy they did it to bring light to different cultures, not let it fade away,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Courtney Jackson, from Atlanta, Georgia, who attended the ceremony. “It’s an important part of American history.”

Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Mount, from San Diego, a member of the Cherokee tribe, was the last speaker.

“I was really happy to be a part of this event, especially being Native American,” said Mount. “I wanted to give a little history about what Native Americans have done, what they have gone through and how they lived.”

For the final event of the ceremony, Seaman Katlynn Joe, from Upper Fruitland, New Mexico, a member of the Navajo tribe, led members of MCHC in a rendition of the jingle dress, a Native American women’s dance performed to help heal the injured and sick or for grieving families.

“It’s good that I can let people know a bit of Native American culture,” said Joe. “It helps them be informed.”

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