SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A local Springfield group is working to serve the Native American community while teaching others about their culture and traditions in honor of Native American Heritage Month.

The American Indian Center of Springfield was founded in the 1980s. After its founder passed away, the organization became inactive. This organization was revamped in the Spring and will have a new board of directors.

Nelda Niedo, with the American Indian Center, says the organization’s main goal is to be a resource for Native Americans in the community. The organization also works to preserve traditions by teaching classes on making different items.

Niedo says it’s important to recognize the contributions of Native Americans, “The people need to be reminded that we are still here. We’re still here and we’re actively engaged in our communities, and in our culture, and as Native Americans. We are a diverse group of people who have many different languages. We make contributions. I think the biggest thing is to let people know that we are still here, we are thriving, and we’re just a great bunch of people.”

The group is hosting a meet and greet Sunday, Nov. 8, from 2-6 pm at the American Legion Post 639 located at 2660 South Scenic in Springfield.
The event will include a raffle, potluck meal, and board members will speak. Social distancing and mask-wearing will be required at the event.

You can go to The American Indian Center of Springfield’s Facebook page for more information.