What collaboration can create!
“Water Life’s Flow Soil Provider of Generations” is this year’s theme for the American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month Poster. With the help of many individuals across many states, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has a poster that represents the importance of balance, beauty, and harmony with nature, self and society.
NRCS American Indian Alaska Native Special Emphasis Program Manager (AIAN SEPM)/ District Conservationist Mitchell Aman collaborated with local Tribal Communities, NRCS Georgia AIAN SEPM/Public Affairs Specialist Ron Morton, NRCS Tennessee Public Affairs Specialist Carter Harris and Grace Lutz, Assistant State Conservationist for Management and Strategy, Rachel Bush, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design for Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee, and NRCS National AIAN SEPM/Soil Conservationist Deborah Clairmont to create the 2015 American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month Poster.
Each year, NRCS supports and reaches out to Tribes by creating the AI/AN Heritage Month Poster for November to celebrate and recognize American Indian and Alaska Native culture. A rotational list by NRCS regions opens the door for all states and tribes to participate. This year, the poster contest made its way to the Southeast Region where the NRCS Southeast Region American Indian Work Group selected Tennessee as the state to hold the contest.
Aman reached out throughout Tennessee with local Tribal Communities advertising the American Indian Alaska Native Heritage Month Poster Contest to Tribal Members. Many may have thought he would not get any responses since there are no Federally Recognized Tribes, however through the Relocation Act in 1956 (relocating AIAN to urban areas) there are pocket AI/AN communities everywhere. Today, many tribal members have moved back to their homelands and live off reservations.
After much deliberation, Dakota Duncan, artist from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe now living in Fayetteville, TN was selected as the winner of the AIAN Heritage Month Poster Contest and received $2,000 for his artwork.
Many thanks go to Rachel Bush, who volunteered many hours of her personal time to help with the graphic layout of Duncan’s artwork developing it into a poster. Rachel entered beautiful artwork in the American Indian/Alaskan Native Heritage Month Poster Contest that was not selected. She graciously offered her assistance in an effort to preserve her Cherokee Heritage.
The American Indian Alaska Native Heritage Month Poster will be printed and distributed between late September and early October 2015. You can acquire a poster through the NRCS Distribution Center.