The Wampanoag people were a long-established confederacy of several Native American tribes in present-day Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Many of the Wampanoag people are now enrolled in two federally recognized tribes in Massachusetts: the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Tribal Council, based in the town of Mashpee on the southeastern coast of mainland Massachusetts; and the Wampanoag... Continue Reading →

Mary Riddle won widespread acclaim as one of the first Native American women to earn an airplane pilot’s license. She was born in the community of Bruceport in Washington in 1902. A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Riddle was a member of both the Quinault Indian Nation in Washington and the Clatsop Tribe in... Continue Reading →

In 1966, Donald Winchester became the first known Native American graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) in New London, Connecticut. (Janet Emerson, USCGA’s class of 1988, was the first known female Native American to graduate from that institution.) Of Cherokee descent, Winchester was also the Coast Guard’s first known Native American aviator.  Winchester... Continue Reading →

Jerry C. Elliott, a Cherokee-Osage Native American, began his career at NASA in 1966. He started out as a flight mission operations engineer and, in the years since, has risen through the ranks at NASA in progressively more responsible technical and managerial positions in such areas as spacecraft systems, hardware, software, scientific experiments, and astronaut... Continue Reading →

During World War II, a unique and far-flung reserve force of volunteers under the command of the U.S. Army took shape in the then-U.S. territory of Alaska. The Alaska Territorial Guard (ATG) was established in 1942 in response to both the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and the occupation of parts of Alaska by... Continue Reading →

In 2002, astronaut John Herrington became the first enrolled member of a Native American tribe to travel into outer space. (William R. Pogue, who flew into outer space during the 1970s as the pilot for the Skylab 4 mission, was of Choctaw ancestry; however, he was not an enrolled member of the Choctaw.) As a... Continue Reading →

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