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News | Nov. 3, 2022

USAREC Soldier serves while continuing tribal traditions

By Bailey Senerchia USAREC Public Affairs

The Fond Du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Reservation in Cloquet, Minnesota has a large veteran population and hosts a Veterans Powwow annually to bring tribal members from multiple states together.

Sgt. 1st Class Anna Stephens comes from a history of military service, “my father and uncle served in the Army. My grandfather served in World War II on the U.S.S. Thresher submarine at Pearl Harbor.” She is proud to represent her family during the annual Veteran’s Powwow carrying their Eagle Staff.

The Eagle Staff has a long history and became widely used when veterans retired from the Vietnam War, “it’s a way for each clan to tell their families’ story about their ogichidaa (warriors),” Stephens explained. “I feel very proud to carry our family’s Eagle Staff because at the top of our staff is the eagle feather that I deployed to Iraq with.”

Stephens recalled being stationed near Washington, D.C. and visiting the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian where a birch bark canoe her uncle made is displayed.

“A lot of Native American traditions are passed on through stories from our elders, it is important to continue to celebrate traditions and pass down common practices and language, so it is not lost,” Stephens said.



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