National Native American Heritage Month Of November
Susan Freed-Held: Ahoogashinawega "Brilliant Wings"
Hochunk "Winnebago" Anishinabe" Chippewa"
By Susan Freed-Held
It is sad that although National Native American Heritage Month has been declared almost yearly in the last ten years it is still the best kept secret in the Nation. I have been asking all Native Americans to publicly honor their Relatives and Ancestors the month of November for at least 5 years. I would like to honor all of my Ancestors and all Native Americans who have gone before us. We hold them close to us. They walk with us.
I am asking that Native American Heroes be celebrated all month long and that Native American Day the day after Thanksgiving be a National Henry Roe Cloud Holiday. Henry Roe Cloud, WoNaXiLayHunka "War Chief" was my Winnebago grandfather and the first Native American to graduate from Yale and become a Presbyterian Minister. Yale celebrates Henry Roe Cloud Week-End with all of the relatives and students invited to seminars and campus activities in his honor every year since 2008. The libraries display Henry Roe Cloud papers and Native American artifacts. An outstanding professor of Yale and community member is selected to receive Henry Roe Cloud Awards in a culminating Reception and Dinner. Henry assisted Franklin D. Roosevelt in writing the Reorganization Act to transition the relocated Reservation Native Americans from hunting, fishing and gathering to growing crops. Henry was also Superintendent of Haskell College for Native American Men and started the Wichita Native American Boys Prep School. In his later years he was Superintendent for the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon and the Oregon Siletz and Coos coastal tribes. He died of a massive heart attack in Siletz, Oregon in 1950. Henry's wife, Elizabeth Bender Roe Cloud, was a teacher and nurse and assisted him in all of his work. Elizabeth served on the President FDR's Conference on Children and ran the Wichita Boys School during Henry's travels to raise funds and does government work. After Henry's death Elizabeth was named Oregon's Mother of the Year and the National Mother of the Year for 1950. My mother, Lillian Roe Cloud Freed, wrote the nomination letter and accompanied Elizabeth to New York for her acceptance of National Mother of the Year Award. She was the first Native American woman to receive this award. Elizabeth was sent on a world tour representing the United States. She brought me an Italian doll and a lifetime pen pal from India, Coral de Monte. Elizabeth Bender Roe Cloud was the sister of my great Uncle Charles "Chief Bender". He is the famous Baseball Hall of Fame player for the Philadelphia "A's". He also invented the "slider" pitch.
The grandchildren are now the elders of our Winnebago Thunderbird clan. We and our children are teachers, nurses, attorneys, Indian Education, Welfare and Health Advocates, writers, film makers, professors, web site President, fashion consultants, a judge, and superintendents of schools. We follow in our ancestors moccasins.
The One Great Hour of Sharing ministries are: