Native American Women Warriors

By Paul G on February 26, 2013
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The Native American Women Warriors was created to raise awareness of women veterans.

Native American Women Warriors

Founder Mitchelene BigMan

Mitchelene BigMan President and founder had created dresses to signify her patriotism to this great nation and the First Nations People. In March 2010, the dresses caught the eye of an elder, which was the time the group was recognized as the first all female Native American Color Guard. The name at that time was the Army Women’s Iraqi Freedom Veterans, because it started out as Army, but changed the name to include all branches of services. Since that historical moment the ladies have made special appearances as motivational, guest and keynote speakers at various events whether Veterans or Native in; conferences, pageants, training and Ethnic Observances. Native American Women Warriors still are given the opportunities to color guard but has grown to a non-profit, officially 1 Mar 2012. With the growth and changes, members had changed, but our recruitment efforts has blessed us with outstanding and passionate Native lady veterans and assisting us in our vision and mission, we have been blessed to have Arlene Duncan, a member of the Marine Corps, join our ranks and has helped us tremendously. Our current board of directors are; Mitchelene BigMan, Army (founder/president, Crow), Arlene Duncan (Vice President/), Angel Young (Secretary/Standing Rock Lakota), Brenda McEwing (Treasurer/Dakota Tipi).

Our original dresses, the red, white, blue and Cheyenne pink signify our patriotism. The red dresses, designed by NAWW’s members (past and present), signify the blood that was shed for this great nation. The blue ones signifying valor and courage as a warrior. March 1, 2012 officially became Non-Profit, still recruiting new members and setting up chapters in various states. Our duties are still color guard, but we have taken on a mission to help our fellow lady veterans of Native American descent in areas of need; health, employment and education.

Mission Statement
We are dedicated to surface recognition of women veterans, especially of Native American descent, and their contribution to the military, that represents our indigenous people and the United States of America.

Vision Statement
Our goal is to assist our Native American women veterans in receiving the help desperately needed to empower themselves to take on modern challenges in education and employment; to guide those needing special services to attain a powerful mind, body and spirit.

Native American Women Warrior

This past January the group participated in the Inauguration festivities for President Barack Obama.  The members that participated were:

  • Mitchelene BigMan – Crow
  • Julia Kelly – Crow
  • Josie Passes-Porter – Crow
  • Tia Cyrus – Crow
  • Brenda McEwing – Dakota Tipi
  • Arlene Duncan – Chippewa Tribe
  • Angel Young – Standing Rock Lakota
  • Celeste Borrego –  Lakota
  • Charlyne Hunt – Waccamaw
  • Michela Alire – Ute Mountain Ute

Native American Women Warrior

 What was it like to participate in the Inauguration?

When we were announced that we were a participant of the inauguration the ladies were so excited.    The day of the Inauguration, besides being cold, we were anxious, excited, honored and so many emotions running through us, especially when we passed the President’s reviewing stand.

Native American Women Warrior

What does the future hold for the group?

As for the future, we are a new non-profit and still trying to get it going as far as assisting our Native American Women veterans.  Our goal and vision is not only be a resource, but an outreach, establish offices within some of the tribes and partner up with VA to ensure they get the assistance needed.  We also plan on setting up chapters of color guard groups through out the nation so we will have more representation for future events.

We are accepting applications not only for color guard, but volunteers that at Native, non-Native, veteran, non-veteran, dependents of veterans, gold star mothers and hope to get the ladies auxiliary going.  We are accepting application from males and females wanting to help the non-profit side.  The color guard, there is a criteria: Native American descent (proof), serve(d) honorable and a veteran from any one of the military branches to include Coast Guard.

Learn more about the Native American Women Warriors.

Native American Women Warrior

Native American Women Warrior

Native American Women Warrior

Native American Women Warrior

Native American Women Warrior

TOPICS: Blog, Featured, Native American Culture, Native Profiles

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18 Responses to “Native American Women Warriors”

  1. Carol says:

    oh wow right on that’s what I love about the Americans, they have so much pride and patriotism and a strong belief in Country yep too cool.

    • Walt says:

      it is high time we recognize and honor our women warriors, as a Veteran, any program that honors our veterans in a noble effort

  2. Rosemary Barker Dodd says:

    At our powwow in Vandalia Mo.Years ago in the 90s,women warriors were not going to be honored.I insisted that they would be. Caused a lot of problems.Ha!!! Our group had a few. One retired out of the military and was a high ranking officer.Several saluted her when it was over.

  3. William EagleBlanket says:

    Loved the article, and all the photos!!!
    Thanks for your Service Ladies!

    An old retired Nez Perce Vet,

    Tipyahlahnah Tsitskun

  4. Marta Holmes says:

    Great article. I am glad to learn about your group and support your mission. I am not Native or a veteran, but both of my parents were in the Air Force and a girlfriend is in the AF Reserves. Much respect to you all. I will share this on FB with my Native and non Native friends.

  5. John Melland says:

    As a veteran of the Army, it make’s me happy and proud to see these women warrior’s. I give them many grateful thank’s and respect for their hard work and dedication. Being in the military is not an easy journey. Thank you.
    John Melland (Ogemageshig) Annishinabe.

  6. patsy self says:

    I commend all of you for your pride in your heritage both Native American and of your country, I thank you so much for your courage and determination to help your fellow warriors, and most of all for your service to this great country we are so blessed to live in. I have always had empathy for Native Americans and a few years ago, found that I had a gggg-grandmother who was Cherokee , a member of the Deer Clan she lived North Georgia prior to The Trail of Tears. I will share your mission on Facebook

  7. Dave says:

    I beena member on the American Indian Veterans Assn. color guardsince 1996. In the centeral valley of California. USN-ret. We are non-profit and Grand Entries at pow wows, do outreach services for our native brothers and sisters and particapate at funerals and other events as requested. When I saw the pictures of your group I felt so enspired,honored, and yet humbled. You make us all both as Native people and as vets so very proud of your efforts, aho

  8. Rusty Kayonnie says:

    I felt the honor for our veterans and inspiried with all the greets and apologies and for thier service and and honor i love all ya’ll you guyz are gonna never be forgotten and we and the next generation and it will be carried on as a legacy and you will always be mentioned cuz you guys are history of the past much love from my heart to you and your family peace…

  9. Murphy N. Parkhurst says:

    it was good to see you walking tall and proud, carrying your colors. made the old heart skip a beat. keep up the good work, I am a stand by for the 173rd Airborne color guard in Minneapolis. You are doing a great job , take care and good luck. Happy trails…

  10. Nokomis Quay says:

    I don’t think it’s proper for military veterans to be wearing Jingles Dresses. This dress orignated among the Ojibwe people and was meant to be used in healing ceremonies. In the traditional culture of the eastern Woodland tribes, the warriors (military) have separate roles from the chiefs and healing socieities. Some tribes require that Clan Cheifs and medicine people are never to spill blood. I know the western and southwestern tribes have re-interpretated the Ojibwe Jingle Dress to suit their own needs and desires, and I find that offensive.

  11. Virginia Frank says:

    Are there any NAWW in the MO area that would be willing to come to St Louis in November 2014 and show the staff, vets, volunteers and visitors what a color guard does and why they do what they do? Arrangements can be made if funding allows for travel and perhaps a small stipend. Each Nov we celebrate the AI contributions to the freedom we all have today. Novemebr is the National American Indian heritage month. Contact can be made at [email protected].
    Thank you in advance for your assistance.

  12. A'lice Hall says:

    My Sisters
    I am so proud of all you efforts and service. I am retired Air Force and am proud and blessed to have served. I plan to attend our Veterans Day Honor Ceremony in northern Virginia and would love to see something like this instituted here. Though I wear traditional regalia, my shawl reflects my veterans status. Peace

  13. autumn says:

    I would like to join. I am TIWA-PIRO, Pueblo. I am first female in my family to be in combat. OIF 2004-2005.

  14. Lucy La Hurreau says:

    Years ago, I started dancing in Veterans Dance saying I was representing my deceased husband…it’s only the last few years that I’ve been able to say I’m the Vet I’m dancing for…and have gotten quite a few hugs from quite a few of the guys that were against my dancing….Honor…we were to be quiet, but we can’t stay quiet any more. We need to stand up…Megwetch for the article and to the women of the armed forces….I’m proud to know they are there….
    Mkwatakwabit Wasewaikwa (SacFox)

  15. Bec says:

    This is so wonderful! I love the beautiful regalia and these wonderful women veterans look awesome :)

  16. Jim Corrales says:

    Mija the ceremony must have been wonderful. Just one question
    I see the Army, Navy and Marine corp insignias, Where is the Air Force?
    You could have rep. them. Next time step up to the plate and be
    counted

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