The Native American Women Warriors was created to raise awareness of women veterans.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.