Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

November 29th, 2017
Members of Southwest Solutions' Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee help serve lunch at the Native American Heritage Month celebration.

About 40 Southwest Solutions’ staff and several community residents celebrated Native American Heritage Month on November 21 with a potluck and presentations by two local members of Native American tribes.

Lisa Brunk and Mayte Penman at the Native American Heritage Month celebration.

The members, Lisa Brunk and Ray Elwart, shared traditional Native American dance, poetry and song along with their own personal histories of work with tribal communities Highlights included a rap that Ray wrote and sang at Standing Rock North Dakota and in Flint about the rights of all people to clean drinking water. Lisa performed a traditional blessing and healing dance in a jingle dress that she made. Lisa is pursuing a Masters in Education at Northern Michigan and is a certified drug counselor.

Ray and Lisa also brought dishes typically prepared by their tribes for the potluck. The other potluck dishes, made by our staff and community residents, were representative of Native American cooking.

Thanks to all staff that participated and/or brought food items, and to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee that sponsored the event as part of the Lunch & Learn series. Mayte Penman, Beth Hedden and Ryan Dinkgrave did behind-the-scenes work to organize the celebration.

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