Loretta Howard is in the Chat Room

Loretta Howard

Loretta Howard

Age: 49

Family: Howard is single and is the last of six children of Sevilla and Percy Thomas. She grew up in Southwestern, Va.

Occupation: Community Volunteer

“I moved here about nine years ago. I had come through, and it was a wonderful area. It called to me, so to speak. It brings me peace being in this part of the country. It just brings me peace and is satisfying.”

Howard volunteers at the Blount County Public Library. She also has spoken to Sunday School members at Maryville First United Church on Native American culture.

“By educating and sharing Native American culture, I think it gives everybody an opportunity to learn about culture in way contrary to what TV may have stereotyped. It always brings a different understanding. Sharing the culture enlightens people to the way things really are, not the way they appear on TV.”

Howard said she enjoys Blount County for its people and for its beautiful natural environment. “I like to hike and enjoy creation,” she said, adding that hiking to places like Abrams Falls and Rainbow Falls are tops on her list.

Howard, who is of Cherokee, Blackfoot, Lakota, Sioux, French and African-American decent, participates regularly in Native American powwows. “They are an opportunity to educate and share Native American culture.”

Howard helped organized the Native American festival at the Blount County Public Library on April 25. The festival featured Samuel Holiday, a veteran of World War II who served in the U.S. Marines as a Navajo Code talker. As part of the event, all veterans were honored for their service to their country.

“Whenever we have a powwow, we honor all veterans, active and inactive military, police officers, firefighters because of the fact they’re standing for this country and the freedom of this country,” she says. “In Native American culture, it’s always about the whole, never about the individual.”

Howard says Holiday enjoyed his time in Blount County. “He said he felt so welcome here, and he was just really honored to come here,” she says. “I was honored to be able to play a role in contacting him and the dancers and the vendors.”

25 Random Facts about Loretta Howard:

1. I am of Cherokee, Blackfoot, Lakota, Sioux, French and African-American decent.

2. I believe all human beings are brothers and sisters, and I don’t consider what color a person is.

3. Life is a sacrifice because it shows empathy for others.

4. Peace comes when we keep the hope that all people embrace unity from the simple fact that they are all humans.

5. Love of humankind requires sacrifice of time, self and energy.

6. One of the most exciting and memorable experiences I’ve had while I have lived here was the Native American Festival on April 25 when we honored all veterans, all active military services from this great community, including keynote speaker Samuel T. Holiday, a World War II Navajo Code talker. There was attendance of 1,500 people. My thanks go to the Blount County Public Library director Kathy Pagles, outreach coordinator Joan Van Sickle Sloan and Clayton Center for the Arts director Robert Hutchens who made this event possible.

7. My favorite books are “Grandmother Counsels the World,” by author Carol Schaefer. The wisdom is why I rate this book my most favorite. They teach about how to live. The second book is “The Book of Secrets.”

8. I like to take road trips, riding bikes and cycling. I love photography because photography is an art form.

9. My favorite movie is any Clint Eastwood movie.

10. My favorite car is one that runs.

11. I like a variety of music.

12. My favorite stores are bookstores, coffee shops and variety stores.

13. My favorite color is blue, and I love blue T-shirts.

14. My favorite song is “Your Simply the Best,” by Tina Turner.

15. My favorite foods are veggies and seafood.

16. My favorite television shows are “National Geographic,” “Dancing with the Stars” and “Seinfeld.”

17. If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be my parents.

18. My father delivered me.

19. My favorite clothing - blue jeans.

20. I like to go out into nature and look at the beauty of creation. I love hiking in the mountains and to the waterfalls.

21. I was invited and participated in the United Methodist Native American program held at the United Methodist Mount Eagle Retreat in Arkansas.

22. I’m a traditional buckskin Native American dancer.

23. I was born in Southwestern Virginia.

24. I am left-handed.

25. Education and the unity of all people regardless of age, culture or ethnicity is at the core of what I believe.

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