15th annual symposium brings veterans together to learn; celebrate

Informal conversations
All Indian Pueblo Color Guard
A young Eagle Dancer
Marvin Trujillo Jr.
Laguna Pueblo Governor Richard B. Luarkie
United States Army Veteran Tom Dailey
Marvin Trujillo Jr. Veterans Program Director
Chris Riley plays guitar
Breakout sessions
Southern Ute Vietnam Veteran Rod Grove
United States Army Veteran Tom Dailey
The Informational Expo
Informal conversations carry on throughout the symposium, (left to right) Larry Lehte, HoMana Pawiki, Milton Poola and Rod Grove stand for a formal portrait, following a discussion on the symposiums long history in New Mexico.
The All Indian Pueblo Color Guard posts colors before attendees on Friday, Nov. 8 at the Route 66 Hotel and Casino.
A young Eagle Dancer gives an impressive display as part of the opening ceremonies during the 15th Annual Native American Symposium. The presenting group, The Laguna Eagle Dancers, hails from the Laguna Pueblo and is predominately comprised of members from the Riley family.
Marvin Trujillo Jr. Veterans Program Director Pueblo of Laguna and former First Lieutenant Marine Corps served as master of ceremonies for the morning presentations held in the Main Ballroom of the Route 66 Hotel and Casino.
Laguna Pueblo Governor Richard B. Luarkie took to the podium for opening remarks, welcoming attendees to the Laguna Pueblo and Route 66 Casino.
United States Army Veteran Tom Dailey served in World War II and continues to play an active role in veterans affairs. Dailey also served as a former Governor for the Pueblo of Laguna (1954-1955,1967-1971).
Marvin Trujillo Jr. Veterans Program Director Pueblo of Laguna served as master of ceremonies for the morning presentations, giving recognition to the veterans, while also introducing the mornings presentations.
Chris Riley plays guitar with his group Village Express, the musicians entertained both veterans and their families following the formal presentations on Friday, Nov 8. – The group was comprised of veterans from the Pueblo of Laguna.
Breakout sessions filled the morning and afternoon schedule during the all day Symposium, inviting veterans and their families to learn more about available benefits and programs.
Southern Ute Vietnam Veteran Rod Grove sits with Ute Mountain Ute tribal members; Rita King and Beverly Le-Hi from Towaoc, Colorado.
United States Army Veteran Tom Dailey served in World War II and continues to play an active role in veterans affairs, accompanied at the symposium by his grandson.
The Informational Expo, which took place outside of the Main Ballroom at the Route 66 Hotel and Casino gets underway following the mornings formal presentations. The annual symposium, now it’s 15th year, draws in an estimated 600 participants each year.
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum

“It’s like a family reunion” Southern Ute Vietnam veteran Rod Grove said, a sentiment echoed by Milton Poola, one of the conferences long time attendees.

In it’s 15th year, the Native American Veterans Symposium draws hundreds in from across Indian Country to discuss opportunities available to Native American veterans, while providing an atmosphere for socialization, networking and support.

“Our veterans command the respect of the American people,” said Marvin Trujillo Jr. Veterans Program Director Pueblo of Laguna and former First Lieutenant Marine Corps.

Trujillo summed up the purpose of the symposium, “to better educate our veterans on what’s available to them.”

He also served as master of ceremonies for the morning presentations held in the ballroom theater of the Route 66 Hotel and Casino on the Laguna Pueblo.

Located to the west of Albuquerque, New Mexico the symposium took place on Friday, November 8 in recognition of Veterans Day.

This year’s Symposium was sponsored by Indian Health Services & Veterans Affairs and co-sponsored by the Pueblo of Laguna. The event draws upwards of 600 attendees each year.

“I thought about the many wars and challenges that have confronted our people,” Laguna Pueblo Governor Richard B. Luarkie said, “we have a history as native people.”

Luarkie spoke of the willingness of Native Americans to lend themselves [enlist]  to protect American soil in times of war. To put their lives on the line to honor their beliefs.

“That foundation has driven us to this day,” Luarkie said, “as I think about these things [I can’t help but feel] how blessed we are as a people”

“I want to say thank you again. It is an honor to have you on our lands and in our facility.” Luarkie said.

The Laguna Eagle dancers performed a traditional song during the posting of the colors.

An informational presentation followed opening remarks, covering such topics as the Affordable Care Act and it’s possible effect on services such as Medicaid, and The Exchange.

“No big change for veterans under the law,” assured Abuko D. Estrada, staff attorney NM center on law and poverty, in regards to the implementation of The Affordable Care Act.

Trujillo encouraged veterans to enroll in State and Federal programs if not for themselves then simply to help better their communities, “Economic development in their communities, even housing,” can be effected in a positive way he said.

“I think it strengthens Indian Health Services if we are involved [ that goes for] both veterans and families,” Grove said.

 

 

Like it? Share it!

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail