The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District celebrated National American Indian Heritage Month Nov. 19, 2019, with an observance at the Mazzoli Federal Building.
According to nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov, NAIHM recognizes the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S. The month of November is designated for that purpose.
To celebrate, the Louisville District welcomed guest speakers 1st Lt. Korrie Powell, Native American program manager for the Louisville District and Dr. Hilaria Cruz, linguist and assistant professor at the University of Louisville.
Powell opened the celebration with a song from the Trail of Tears, “This May Be the Last Time,” sung in the Muskogee language.
“The Muskogee language is spoken by the Seminole and Creek Tribes of Oklahoma,” Powell said.
Information from the Muskogee (Seminole/Creek) Documentation Project can be found at the following link: http://muskogee.blogs.wm.edu/.
Dr. Cruz spoke of the historical importance of reviving and documenting indigenous languages.
With her sister, Emiliana Cruz, Dr. Cruz has developed a Chatino alphabet. Currently, she is promoting literacy in Chatino and other indigenous languages of the Americas. Together with her students, she has created and published children’s books in the Chatino, Hupa, and Ojibwe languages.