DHG Office: Asheville, NC (DHG Wealth Advisors)
As a child, what did you do to celebrate your Native American heritage?
I am from the Chickasaw Tribe in Oklahoma. I grew up in New Mexico, but traveled every year to Oklahoma to the Chickasaw Reservation for homecoming festivities. We had many relatives who still lived there and I enjoyed learning about my heritage through them. I always thought it was interesting to think about my ancestors traveling on the Trail of Tears to settle in Oklahoma.
While I am removed from the tribal culture living in western North Carolina, I cherish the beautiful Indian art that I received from my ancestors and love the turquoise jewelry that is representative of Indian culture. I don’t live it every day, but I definitely identify with the culture and celebrate my heritage.
Why do you think it’s important that we recognize Native American Heritage Month?
I truly respect my ancestors and grieve for all that was taken from them. Our history is filled with pain, tragedy, discrimination and injustice. Recognizing Native Americans brings awareness to the culture as well as the plight of many Indians. Sadly, today many Native Americans live in deplorable conditions with very little resources. Awareness is a step in the right direction to bring much needed resources to people in need and it paves the way for a brighter future for American Indians.
Kim Surrett is an Operations Associate in Asheville, NC with DHG Wealth Advisors. She and her husband, Shawn, are enjoying having an empty nest after raising five children. She loves to read and is a recent Walking Dead fan.