Native American Women Warriors
SFC Mitchelene BigMan, SSG Cindy Darrington, and SSG Toni Eaglefeathers are soldiers from the Crow, Northern Cheyenne and Navajo Nations. The three women are gaining recognition as a unique color guard.
The women designed the same dresses using the same colors: red, white, blue, and Indian pink. The main designs were also the same but placed differently along with Army unit and combat patches, rank, U.S. Flag and Iraqi Freedom patch.
women chose to make jingle dresses and dance in jingle style because
of the meaning: prayer
preparing for the grand entry an elder, Camille Claremont, noticed
the dresses and asked about their significance. The women replied
that they were military veterans, both active and retired.
As the women lined up, the arena directors quickly came over and asked for their names, ranks, branch of service and Native Nation. They also asked for the color guard's name. The women didn't have one. In haste they were given the name “Army Women’s Iraqi Freedom Veterans," then placed with the other color guards.
When the Army women's group was announced, the MC said history was being made -- BigMan, Darrington, and Eaglefeathers were the first all female Native American color guard.
Since this historical day the three women have have been invited to several powwows as a color guard team. They also participated in NYC's Veterans Day parade last year and presented the colors as part of the "Band of Pride Tribute." The women wore their dresses and regalia.
The women have since changed their color guard's name to Native American Women Warriors in honor of all females in all branches of service.
Backgrounds: Robert Kaufman Fabrics: http://www.robertkaufman.com/
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