Saturday, November 28, 2009

San Manuel's Ramos: Native American History Month: A Legacy of Achievement and Contribution

In Thursday's San Bernardino Sun San Manuel Chairman James Ramos, discusses many positive contributions made by Native Americans you MAY not have heard of. I'll add one more to the list: Edward Robert Foreman of Redding Rancheria, who brought health care to Northern California's Native Americans and was subsequently terminated from the tribe.

Here's some from Chairman Ramos' article:

Most Americans probably have heard of Sitting Bull, Geronimo, Sacajawea, Squanto and Pocahontas. Getting past what may be the stereotypical image of Native Americans, however, there are many others who have made, and continue to make, lasting contributions to Indian Country and the nation as a whole in every conceivable way.

For example, Ira Hayes, an Akimel O'odham Indian and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Community, who was one of five brave Marines immortalized in the famous photograph of the Iwo Jima flag-raising during World War II. Young Navajo, Hopi, Comanche and members of other Indian tribes who served as Code Talkers during World War II contributed by using their tribal languages to transmit messages - a code that was never broken by the enemy.

In athletics, Billy Mills, an Oglala Lakota Sioux, won Olympic gold in 1964 in the 10,000 meter run, breaking the American record set by another Native American, Louis Tewanima (Hopi), at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm. Tewanima was a teammate of Jim Thorpe. Mills remains the only American in history to win that event. Other Native Americans including Notah Begay III, the only full-blooded American Indian PGA tour player in history, and Boston Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsberry, a member of California's Colorado River Indian Tribes and first-ever Navajo in Major League Baseball history. Earlier this month, Joba Chamberlain, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation in Nebraska, helped the New York Yankees win the World Series as a starting pitcher. These young Native Americans thrill crowds throughout the U.S. with their incredible skills.

In government, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a Northern Cheyenne tribal member and captain of the 1964 Olympic Judo Team, was the first Native American ever to serve in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Nighthorse Campbell is also the only Olympian to ever serve in the U.S. Senate, where he represented Colorado from 1993 - 2005. Larry EchoHawk, a Pawnee, represents Indian interests throughout the U.S. as the new head of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs.

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