Each November, Native American Heritage Month is designated to help pay "tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans." The American Red Cross has existing relationships with many tribal nations for disasters, but individuals have also helped in various Red Cross capacities.
Historically, Mrs. Lula Owl Gloyne, a Cherokee graduate nurse, played a unique role with the Red Cross in the 1940s. She was trained as a nurse in Virginia and Pennsylvania, and then went to the Sioux Tribe at Standing Rock Reservation, Fort Yates, North Dakota while still a young girl.
Gloyne was a Red Cross nurse during World War I at Camp Lewis, Washington. Having retired before World War II broke out, she returned to work, teaching home nursing and first aid to the present generation of Cherokees.
Today, the Red Cross uses cross-planning and cross-training in our partnerships with tribal nations and Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) formalize those relationships. The partnerships help the Red Cross to be both an essential component in effective disaster preparation and a quick responder to any disasters tribal nations might face.
This Native American Heritage Month, the Red Cross celebrates individuals and partnerships that were valued in our past and are integral to our present and future.