National Native American Heritage Month
National Native American Heritage Month

The DoD prepares to honor the accomplishments and contributions of Native Americans and Alaska natives during November as it celebrates National Native American Heritage Month.

November was proclaimed National Native American Heritage Month by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. Joe Sarcinella, DoD’s senior advisor and liaison for Native American Affairs, discussed the department’s efforts to recognize Native Americans and their contributions to the country dating back to Revolutionary War.

“DOD is really committed to celebrating all sorts of diversity — race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation,” Sarcinella said. “I really feel that they’re leading the charge and November just happens to be that time of the year when we can focus on Native Americans.”

In addition to his senior advisor duties, Sarcinella manages the Native American Lands and Environment Mitigation program, which deals with cleanup of DoD activities on tribal lands and other treaty lands.

“I’m also the lead trainer,” he said. “I’m in charge of managing American Indian Cultural Communication Course and the Native Hawaiian Cultural Communication Course as well where I go … instruct DoD personnel … as how to consult with indigenous people.”


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