NRCS New York American Indian/Alaskan Native Special Emphasis Program


2013 Native American poster

"Land of the Great Water—Sustainer of Life "

The 2013 American Indian Heritage Month
poster was designed by
Shirley M. Brauker,
a member of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians.  Full screen view

The purpose of this program is to provide focus on issues such as equal program delivery and the employment, promotion, training and career enhancement affecting American Indian employees and applicants in NRCS.


The objectives of the American Indian/Alaskan Native Special Emphasis Program is to:

  • encourage the participation of American Indians in all NRCS Programs and activities
  • support the unique roll of American Indians and Alaskan Natives within the Federal Government
  • increase the number of American Indians in all categories, series and grade levels
  • recruit American Indian/Alaskan Natives as potential NRCS employees
  • provide a network of professional support for Native Americans in NRCS
  • establish and maintain effective relationships with Indian Nations in New York State, American Indian groups and organizations
  • contribute to the development of the overall Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)/Civil Rights Program in NRCS

NRCS Announces 2013 American Indian Heritage Month Poster Contest Winner

November is National American Indian Heritage Month. It is dedicated to recognizing the intertribal cultures and to educate the public about the heritage, history, art, and traditions of American Indians.

One of the ways NRCS celebrates American Indian Heritage Month is by producing a poster featuring artwork by an American Indian. Each year artists from selected states have the opportunity to exhibit his/her talents and heritage on a national level. This year's winner is from Michigan.

This year's painting by Shirley M. Brauker, a member of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, depicts three Native American women harvesting wild rice. The women wear customary calico clothes adorned with ribbons. The “Rice Spirit” watches from just beneath the water. Her hair is Manoomin."

The caption on the poster reads:

"The oral tradition of the Anishinaabe, or Ojibwe people, of the Great Lakes region is that centuries ago their ancestors migrated from the Atlantic coast. One of the prophecies they followed on this migration was to find a place where “food grows on the water.” Manoomin, (wld rice) is seen as a special gift from the Creator. It became a healthy staple of the Ojibwe diet, as well as being important culturally and spiritually to the Anishinaabe people.

Previous American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month Posters

Information Resources

Center for Native Peoples and the Environment (SUNY-ESF)
Community Development Resources
Cornell University American Indian Program
Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force
Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC)
Office of Native American Programs
Tribal Consultation, A Guide for Natural Resources Conservation Service Employees (USDA NRCS)
Tribal Energy and Environmental Information Clearinghouse (TEEIC)
Tribal Government Relationships (USDA NRCS)

Thank you (“Nya:weh” – in Seneca Iroquois), for visiting our Web page.

John Whitney, American Indian/Alaskan Native Special Emphasis Program Manager
Telephone: 716-652-8480, Extension 110
Fax: 716-652-8506
E-mail: John Whitney