DENVER -- Before the Colorado Mammoth took the playing field, a flag bearing Colorado National Guardsman stood proudly on the Pepsi Center turf as the National Anthem played March 2.
Members of the Sister Nations Color Guard were invited by the Colorado Mammoth indoor lacrosse team to represent Native Americans during their game against the Rochester Knight Hawks.
One of those members carrying the flag was Army Staff Sgt. Cindy Littlefeather. She is a Colorado National Guard Soldier working for the 100th Missile Defense Brigade in the S-1 shop.
The three other women holding the flags were: Sgt. 1st Class Toni Eaglefeathers and U.S. Army veterans Glenda Littlebird and Carissa Gonzalez.
"We brought in the flag during the 'National Anthem' and then did a mini grand entry ceremony during the half time show," said Littlefeather.
Besides doing presentations at sporting events like this one, the women of the Sister Nations perform at pow-wows and other local, and even some national, Native American events. Mainly they post colors as a traditional Native American flag song is played.
"We do about one to two events a month," said Littlefeather. "Performing at these events, keep us in touch with our Native American heritage and community. If I could do this as my full-time job I would."
But the events are only a small portion of what these women do. They dedicate many hours to designing all the regalia that they wear during their performances, as well as when they present the colors. Native American Color guards at pow-wows and other traditional events were usually done by men in traditional dress. The Sister Nations Color guard, the first women to perform as color guard, added U.S. Army Colors and symbols to their dress to pay homage to their military heritage. Not only are these women representing their heritage when they go out and perform, they are also representing the United States military.
"Our group is made up of all women who have served in the military," said Littlefeather. "All of us are currently serving or have served. Littlefeather has been a part of Sister Nation for nearly three years.
"We became a group when my roommate and I got together with some friends and decided to wear matching dresses and tried to do a team event. People noticed that we were all veterans so they suggested we should be a color guard team." Their traditional dresses reflected both their Native American heritage and their military service.
Littlefeather also said that the group is looking for more members. The opportunity is open to other Native American women who have served or are serving in the military, no matter what branch they are or were in. "We are all Army but we are looking for those in other branches as well," said Littlefeather.
The Sister Nations Color Guard's next appearance will be during the Denver March pow-wow March 22-24.