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UPDATED!: November, 16, 2015--This Native American Heritage Month, we're thrilled to revisit these important reflections from Native American leaders, mothers and allies. As we strive for fair pay, access to healthcare and education, and food justice for all mothers and families, we remember the particular challenges facing communities of color, including Native communities. Please read, comment and share! - Eds.

Native American, First People, Alaska Native, Tlingit. All of these words describe me, and none of them describe me. I am a tribal councilwoman, a mother, a daughter, a modern Native woman. I am a fighter, defender, and advocate for my people.

As a Native woman, life for me is about balance just like I was taught by my elders. Day and night, Raven and Eagle, there needs to be balance. I currently live in urban Washington, DC – far away from my home in Alaska. Far away, but not far from my heart. Honoring my culture is a daily priority and I am always aware that I am a Native representative to those who have not had the opportunity to be close to Native people.

It is in this spirit that I am introducing this blog carnival hosted by National Congress of American Indians and Below you will find a series of blog posts by Native peoples across the country who wish to share about our way of life and to help ensure that future generations of Native people can have the opportunities to learn our traditions and cultures and be proud to be Native.

Contributing Writers:

Andrew Bentley, National Relief Charities
Native American, American Indian or Indian?

Deborah A. Miranda, Writer/Poet
Ask For Directions

Gary Stroutsos, Musician
Making Knowledge Out Of Sound: The Enduring Legacy Of The American Indian Flute

Helen Oliff, National Relief Charities
“Indians are Persons” Under the Law

Jacqueline Pata, National Congress of American Indians
Balancing the Raven and Eagle

Jessica Ordon, Native Voices @ the Autry
Spotlight on First Look Series: Measure for Measure

Kelly Gibson, National Relief Charities
A Trail of Togetherness for Hopi Elders

Kirsten Easton, Native Voices @ the Autry
Getting to Know Lori Favela

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert, Beyond the Mesas
Job Shadowing My Father, and My Path to Tenure

Murray Lee, National Relief Charities
Native American Day & Columbus

Native American Netroots American Indian Heritage Day: 11/29 Let’s Eat!

Neeta Lind, Organizer, Writer, Pundit, Activist
My Mother's Story: Flora Sombrero Lind 1923 – 2010

Ojibwa, Historian/Anthropologist who writes for Native American Netroots
17th Century Books About Indians

Randella Bluehouse, National Indian Council on Aging
Native American Month Family Story: My Mother: 5 Foot Tall Super Hero

Sarah Howard,

Timothy Lange (aka "Meteor Blades"), Daily Kos
DNC Speaker Denise Juneau Leads Montana's Public Schools with an Emphasis on Indian Education for All

Trace A. DeMeyer, Author
Anger Turned Inside: The Fight For Native Families

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