NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka conducts Native American Heritage Celebration
YOKOSUKA, Japan – Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka headquarters celebrated cultural diversity during a Native American Heritage Celebration, Nov. 14, at Yokosuka Naval Base.
"Throughout the year we at FLC Yokosuka come together and share the contributions that different cultures and ethnicities have made in our great nation’s rich history and its defense," said Capt. Raymond Bichard, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka commanding officer. “Today we celebrate Native Americans."
The U.S. Navy conducts activities in observance of nine specified diversity-related groups, events or individuals throughout the year.
These special observances are conducted to recognize the continuous achievements of all Americans to American culture and to increase awareness, mutual respect and understanding. They are designed to enhance cross-cultural and cross-gender awareness and promote harmony among all military members, their families and the civilian workforce.
Throughout the day's celebration, much of the history and accomplishments of Native Americans in society were highlighted.
“The story you are taught in grade school growing up is that it was the Native Americans who came to the aid of the Pilgrims during that first Thanksgiving years ago…sharing their hunt and harvest, which helped those settlers gain a foot hold in their new land,” said Bichard. “From a small foot hold to a super-power the United States has benefited greatly from its Native American citizens.”
A very small fraction of U.S. citizens today are Native American, less than 2% of the U.S. population, said Bichard.
“This very small group, a little over 5 million people in total, make up 1% of the total DoD workforce,” added Bichard. “That means Native Americans have the highest population per capita of any ethnic group serving in the military, a very impressive statistic.”
The event culminated with all product and service codes within NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka bringing out their turkeys for an annual Turkey Cook-Off and over 100 guests enjoying a harvest feast of turkey and all the traditional Thanksgiving food dishes, which was shared with the U.S. logistician’s counterparts in the Japanese navy who came as guests to partake in the celebration.
Many other DoD activities will honor National Native American Heritage Month with programs and activities throughout the month at various installations around the world. In addition to the monthly observance, Nov. 28 is Native American Heritage Day. The theme for this year’s observance is “Native Pride and Spirit: Yesterday, Today and Forever.”