7‑Eleven VP of Financial & Strategic Planning Randy Quinn Reflects on His Native American Heritage, Spirit and Community

Native American Heritage Month (NAHM), also commonly recognized each November as American Indian Native Heritage Month, provides an opportunity for all Americans to respect and celebrate the rich and diverse traditions, cultures and histories of Native people, as well as to understand the significant contributions they have made and continue to make to our great country.

As a proud tribal member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, I have learned firsthand of the many unique and trying challenges facing Native people both historically and today. More importantly, I have seen how Native tribes, communities and cultures have risen up to overcome those challenges and keep the spirit and rich histories of their ancestors and cultures alive and well.

Born and raised in Detroit, nearly 350 miles from Sault tribal grounds in northern Michigan, I was able to experience and understand the ways of the tribe and its people through childhood visits and storytelling from my dad. Now a Tribal Elder, he grew up in and around the Sault grounds and community until his teenage years. The Sault Tribe is the largest federally recognized tribe in Michigan with nearly 44,000 members and now, even though I live far away in Dallas, I remain a proud and connected member. 

The Sault Tribe continues to support its membership through programs that drive cultural, historical, educational, health and financial support, communications, and representation-based improvements. Throughout my life as a member of this great community, the spirit of pride, respect, history, culture, humility, and wisdom has always run deep. This same spirit continues to be evident in the ways, efforts and teachings of the Sault tribe.

photos of author

The author showing off artifacts and tribal items several years ago at an educational event;
a recent photo with his father in Michigan; and the Sault Tribe logo (left to right)

There are currently 574 federally recognized American Indian tribes in the U.S., though the overall representation of Native Americans remains small, comprising only 1.1% of the total American population. My entire family including my children all take great pride in being part of this group and spirit, and we hope that all Americans pay tribute in November to the incredible contributions and vastly diverse cultures that Native Americans represent.

As part of 7‑Eleven’s ongoing commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, it’s important that our organization continues to acknowledge, honor and spotlight the unique affinity and representative groups and efforts that add meaning and value to that commitment. If you would like to learn more about Native American culture and honor Native American Heritage Month, please check out the links and resources below.

Randy Quinn
Vice President, Financial & Strategic Planning

5.2 million people in the US who identify as American Indian and Alska Native. 2 times - the rate at which this population grew between 2000 and 2010 in cpmparison to the total US population. 574 - the number of federally recognized American Indian tribes in the US.

Additional Resources

  • Explore over 18,000 photographs from the Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • Learn about Native art, culture, and community through videos
  • Explore virtual exhibits and collections provided by Native American Heritage Month's website
  • Listen to the sounds of American Indian music on Smithsonian Folkways