TOPEKA (KSNT)- A group of local veterans, nurses and former Haskell students helped celebrate Native American Heritage Month.

The event hosted by the Eastern Kansas Veterans Affairs center brought in local Natives to sing, dance and tell their stories. Interim spokesman Sarah Dernovish kicked off the event with a few words, before Haskell students sang a ceremonial song.

After the song, a few words were said from Haskell staff, and it was followed up by traditional Native dances. First, a seal hunting dance, followed by a traditional cloth dance. The goal of the event is to spread awareness for Natives and Native veterans.

“I think it gives Native Americans such as myself, and Native American veterans more of a place in the community,” said Eastern Kansas VA Tribal Outreach Coordinator Will McClammy. “Letting others know where we come from and what our traditions are.”

The event ended with a ceremonial “friendship” circle dance, in which Haskell staff and former students invited the audience to join in.