By Master Sgt.
First Army Public Affairs
FORT GILLEM, GA – Soldiers and Civilian employees at First Army were enlightened by the facts and stories told by Cherokee County – Snowbird Rep. Diamond Brown Jr. during the First Army program celebrating Native American Heritage Month.
Rep. Brown, a full-blooded Cherokee who grew up on the Snowbird Cherokee reservation, was joined by the musical husband and wife team, The Blessed Blend – Joseph and Laralyn RiverWind. The music which they compose and perform blends Native American and Celtic sounds that creates harmonious tribal music which still thrives in indigenous cultures. Their music using drums, flutes, language and culture is played to translate stories from ancient times.
Rep. Brown, a recently elected Tribal Council member for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, spoke of Native American Warriors and the different colors of paint they wear on their face and what each color represents. He spoke of people and trees, and how they are so much alike, yet so very different. His sermon-like demeanor as he tells his stories is entertaining and extremely educational and thought provoking.
He spoke of how he lives in two worlds – his native world and the world which encompasses society and culture as is familiar with most. But despite those differences, he still sits, rather not cross-legged on the floor as some would think a Native American would do, but rather in his soft comfortable recliner just like all the rest of us.
There is a balance that must be achieved between people, like the balance and harmony we see amongst the trees. Trees have feet, legs, arms, a body, skin, hair, much like humans do, and yet they live in peace and harmony no matter where they grow. Rep. Brown wishes people could be like trees and be able to put differences to the side and live as one big tree family.
Those who attended were also treated to a food sampling of creamed corn chowder, catfish, smoked chicken, and gooseberry pie.
Following the meal, Joseph and Laralyn RiverWind played a native tune for “The Round Song”, in which dancers joined hands, starting in a circle, then weaved and danced through the room as if a dancing ribbon, ending the song and dance with a hefty Warrior shout.