By Vincent Schilling
Over the past week, CBS and other news organizations have followed the NAWW group as they have made their way to Washington D.C. to participate specifically in the American Indian Society Inaugural Ball and Powwow and the Inauguration Parade of re-elected President Barack Obama.
The story will air at 6 p.m. EST on the CBS Evening News and will be the last story of the evening highlighted their week’s activities.
According to CBS correspondent Byron Pitts, “We were looking for a story to do about a group participating in the inaugural parade and the Native American women warriors seemed to be a perfect fit. It is a story that probably most Americans didn't know. I think one of my lines in the story was, 'all of them have different stories of struggle that led to great success.'"
Native American Women Warriors Celebrate Inauguration While Raising Awareness for Native Female Veterans
By Vincent Schilling
When BigMan explained that they were not official color guards, Clairmont told them “the dresses speak for themselves.” Meaning, they looked as if they belonged in the color-guard procession.
BigMan agreed, and the three women decided they would join the other color guards. The male color guards told them to go at the end of the line, behind all of the male veteran color guards. BigMan was at first discouraged but then realized their position in the rear of the line was not a dishonor, but rather, a special position, since they’d be the last color guards seen.
As the color guards entered the arena, the emcee announced, “History has been made today—in all my years as an emcee, there has never been an all-female Native American color guard, and so I have the privilege in announcing our first.” And through such accidents is history made.
After marching at the Denver powwow, BigMan decided to officially serve as an all-women Native color guard. She founded The Native American Women Warriors, a non-profit organization that seeks to address the needs of today’s modern military women. Her Women Warriors are also the first all Native American female color guard. They now regularly serve as a color guard at powwows, and travel all over the country for events honoring Native veterans.