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A Q&A with Sarah Howard,’s Executive/Fundraising Coordinator, as told to Social Media Fellow Connie K. Ho

What is your family’s story?

Both of my maternal grandparents had Native American ancestors--Blackfeet on my grandfather's side of the family and Iroquois on my grandmother's side.  I remember my grandfather fondly and appreciate the time I shared with him and my grandmother. Though I was curious when growing up, I really didn't know much at all about my Native American heritage.

How do you celebrate your heritage?

To celebrate my heritage now, I learn and share with my children. I think education is one of the best ways to honor the community. Because of my husband’s occupation in the U.S. Army, our family relocates every few years. We stay connected by attending Powwows locally when we can.  Powwows allow my family the opportunity to ask questions, discover tradition and gain understanding and appreciation. This is our way of practicing what we believe and connecting with others in the community.

A Powwow?

I attended a Pow-Wow to ring in the New Year, 2013. The food is fantastic and the dancing is one of my favorite parts. There are many vendors that have Native American arts and crafts that are for sale and where I first tasted fry bread and buffalo jerky. I was introduced to the art of Terrance Guardipee, a Blackfeet painter and artist.  There’s necessary artwork that comes from the Native American community that revives tradition and shines light on the culture. I don’t think that our nation typically gets to see this and that’s one of the reasons why I think it’s so important  for us to honor Native American Appreciation month.

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