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48th Fighter Wing celebrates Native American Heritage month

A volunteer from the Native American Heritage observance committee shaves a totem piece at Royal Air Force Feltwell, England, Oct. 28, 2020. Five totems were scattered around RAF Lakenheath in observance of Native American Heritage Month; each totem is three feet tall and weighs over 200 pounds. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhonda Smith)

A volunteer from the Native American Heritage observance committee shaves a totem piece at Royal Air Force Feltwell, England, Oct. 28, 2020. Five totems were scattered around RAF Lakenheath in observance of Native American Heritage Month; each totem is three feet tall and weighs over 200 pounds. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhonda Smith)

Volunteers from the Native American Heritage observance committee place a totem at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Nov. 2, 2020. Five totems were scattered around RAF Lakenheath in observance of Native American HeritageMonth; each totem is three feet tall and weighs over 200 pounds. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhonda Smith)

Volunteers from the Native American Heritage observance committee place a totem at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Nov. 2, 2020. Five totems were scattered around RAF Lakenheath in observance of Native American Heritage Month; each totem is three feet tall and weighs over 200 pounds. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhonda Smith)

Volunteers from the Native American Heritage observance committee place a totem at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Nov. 2, 2020. Five totems were scattered around RAF Lakenheath in observance of Native American Heritage Month; each totem is three feet tall and weighs over 200 pounds. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhonda Smith)

Volunteers from the Native American Heritage observance committee place a totem at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Nov. 2, 2020. Five totems were scattered around RAF Lakenheath in observance of Native American Heritage Month; each totem is three feet tall and weighs over 200 pounds. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhonda Smith)

A volunteer from the Native American Heritage observance committee paints a totem at Royal Air Force Feltwell, England, Oct. 28, 2020. Five totems were scattered around RAF Lakenheath in observance of Native American Heritage Month; each totem is three feet tall and weighs over 200 pounds.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhonda Smith)

A volunteer from the Native American Heritage observance committee paints a totem at Royal Air Force Feltwell, England, Oct. 28, 2020. Five totems were scattered around RAF Lakenheath in observance of Native American Heritage Month; each totem is three feet tall and weighs over 200 pounds. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhonda Smith)

A volunteer from the Native American Heritage observance committee carves a totem at Royal Air Force Feltwell, England, Oct. 28, 2020. Five totems were scattered around RAF Lakenheath in observance of Native American Heritage Month; each totem is three feet tall and weighs over 200 pounds. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhonda Smith)

A volunteer from the Native American Heritage observance committee carves a totem at Royal Air Force Feltwell, England, Oct. 28, 2020. Five totems were scattered around RAF Lakenheath in observance of Native American Heritage Month; each totem is three feet tall and weighs over 200 pounds. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rhonda Smith)

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- The 48th Fighter Wing celebrates Native American heritage throughout the month of November recognizing diverse, dedicated, and innovative Airmen, helping to make the Air Force a more inclusive community.

The Diversity and Inclusion committee organized a base-wide knowledge hunt where participants were able to search for hand-crafted totem pole pieces. Five totems were scattered around the base, each standing three feet tall and weighing over 200 pounds.

“We carved each totem piece with hand tools and spent a little over 50 hours to complete them,” said Staff Sgt. Kyle Sinclair, 48th Civil Engineering Unit Deployment Manager and observance month lead.

The knowledge hunt provided Liberty Wing Airmen and their families the opportunity to learn about Native American culture through informational posters about the different tribes and their traditions.

“Working on the totems was an amazing experience that provided a release after a long workday,” said Jim Chase, volunteer of the totem pole building project. “This was a great opportunity for everyone to learn about Native American culture while also having fun.”

The knowledge hunt provided a safe environment for family and friends to bond while adhering to current COVID-19 social distancing measures.

“This was a community event to rejuvenate our Liberty Wing tribe,” said Sinclair. “The 48th Fighter Wing wanted to provide a fun, knowledgeable event that boosted morale in a year that’s been challenging.”