- November is Native American Heritage Month (NAHM)
- RingCentral celebrates with an artifact display, special guest speakers and a webinar on Native language preservation
Celebrating Native Americans
Native American Heritage Month celebrates the cultures, traditions and histories of the Native people of the Americas. This month, RingCentral’s Indigenous People Employee Resource Group (IPERG) is hosting an artifacts display and webinar with Echo Brown and Elisabeth Deroche on Native language preservation.
The Importance of Remembrance
Founded in October of 2020 to celebrate Indigenous people and culture, RingCentral’s IPERG currently has 77 members. The group’s committee leaders—Renee Mann, Senior Manager of Partner Enablement, John Julian, SRE Deployment Engineer and Jeffrey Perkins, Manager of Technical Accounts Managers—spoke with us about how they are fulfilling their mission of support and education.
Education and Support
Supporting Indigenous programs, activities, and businesses and celebrating Indigenous people are the goals of the IPERG. Helping educate RingCentral employees on the history, contributions, and challenges faced by this community is another important facet of their mission. Renee Mann explains, “We feel that learning about the history of Indigenous Communities begins honest conversations and continues an open dialogue regarding the Native American Community’s social, political, and economic contributions. They play an important role in our past and current society.”
NAHM Honors Native History With Artifacts
The Indigenous People ERG is honoring Native history and people with a display of significant artifacts: sweetgrass, sage, Bear Root (couscous), a spear, dreamcatchers, feathers, a beaded medallion, a flute, a rattle, and moccasins. Mann details why the IPERG chose to display certain objects, “Understanding the traditions of our Native American roots and sharing those traditions allows people to gain a better perspective of the importance of these items. They are ingrained in our childhood memories and bring us comfort and remembrance.” These seemingly simple acts of remembrance are making a personal impact at RingCentral.
Artifacts Inspire Reconnection to the Past
Perkins tells us a very personal story about a co-worker who came to his desk with a heartfelt thank you for sharing the Native artifacts. He explained that his great grandparents lived on the tribal lands that many generations before had lived on for hundreds of years. When the U.S. was fully established, half of their tribal lands were now in Mexico behind a border. This separated many relatives in the tribe. When his great grandparents migrated back to the United States, they ended up living in California. Being far away from their people, traditions and connections to the tribe began to diminish. As their children grew older, they had very little to no exposure to their tribal heritage, language, food, and family.
“My co-worker thanked me for putting up the display because it made him feel part of that connection that was lost so many years ago. He hopes to make a trip down to where his family used to live, experience the land and culture that exist today, and visit the museum that is there. I am excited for NAHM to be able to share an interaction with just one person who may feel that connection for a moment and want to explore more.”
Originally published Nov 18, 2022