Every year on November 1, Native American Heritage Month is celebrated to honor the remarkable Native Americans who have contributed a lot to improve the character of the nation. This month is also referred to as the American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. November is the time to rejoice in diverse and rich cultures, histories, and traditions and to appreciate the great contributions of the Native Americans. This month allows us to spread awareness about tribes or to educate people about the various challenges faced by the Native Americans in the past and today. Throughout this month, we commit to keep on supporting the remaining Native American tribes and let the world know about their sacrifices.
History of National Native American Heritage Month
National Native American Month started off as an effort to get a day of appreciation and acknowledgment for the unique contributions made by the first Americans for the growth and establishment of the United States. The effort has now resulted in a whole month being celebrated for that purpose.
Dr. Arthur C. Parker was one of the first supporters of having an American Indian Day. He was a Seneca Indian and the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, New York. He was also the one to convince the Boy Scouts of America to create a day for the Native Americans — the Boy Scouts adopted this day for three days.
In 1915, a plan concerning American Indian Day was formally approved in the annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting. The president of the American Indian Association, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, called upon the country to observe this day.
The first time American Indian Day was declared was in May 1916. In 1990, a joint resolution was approved by George H.W. Bush, which called for November to be named National American Heritage Month. Declarations like these have been issued since 1994, such as Native American Heritage Month and National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.
National Native American Heritage Month timeline
Dr. Arthur was the first person to persuade the Boy Scouts to observe a day for the Native Americans.
The director of the American Indian Association calls for a separate day for the American Indians.
Congress passes a resolution to declare a week for American Indians.
Barack Obama issues a declaration to assign November as National Native American Month.
National Native American Heritage Month FAQs
Why do we celebrate Native American Heritage Month?
“November is Native American Heritage Month, or as it is commonly referred to, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people,” according to the National Congress of American Indians.
How do you honor Native American ancestors?
You can honor Native American Heritage Month and support Mother Nature at the same time by planting flowers and plants that are indigenous to your area.
What are the 10 largest Native American tribes?
The 10 largest Native American tribes are Navajo, Cherokee, Sioux, Chippewa, Choctaw, Apache, Pueblo, Iroquois, Creek, and Blackfeet, according to census data from 2010.
How to Observe National Native American Heritage Month
Learn about the Native Americans
Native American Heritage Month is an excellent way to learn about the history of American Indians. You can teach your children about the country’s past and how Native Americans have helped America.
You can visit or take your kids to a museum or virtually visit it to show them artifacts and exhibits of the Native Americans’ jewelry, customs, and culture.
Travel virtually to see other cultures
There are many cultural videos that you can watch on native culture like “Living Earth Festival”. If you or your kids are interested in learning about the Native American culture find a documentary or movie about it and watch it.
5 Astounding Facts About Native American Heritage
The last Indian
Ishi was the last known surviving member of the Native American Yahi tribe.
The Sequoia tree
The Sequoia tree is named in the honor of Cherokee leader Sequoyah.
American Natives referred to as Indians
Although it has been 500 years, Native Americans are still often referred to as Indians.
The origin of the term 'Indians'
Christopher Columbus came up with the word 'Indian'.
Names of the U.S. states
The names of many U.S. states are derived from Amerindian words, such as Connecticut, Kentucky, and Arizona.
Why National Native American Heritage Month is Important
They have a rich history
The Native Americans have been living in America for a very long time. They were not a single nation but included a variety of cultures, nations, and languages. Some people believe that they have been living on the sub-continent for over 30,000 years.
Native Americans have contributed a lot
There are many contributions made by the Native Americans such as the discovery of edible plants, which are widely eaten by people around the world. They were the first people to raise turkeys, guinea pigs, and honeybees.
They established the government system
The government of Native Americans serves as the model of federated representative democracy. The government system of the U.S. is based on the system in which the power is distributed amongst the central authority and smaller political units.
National Native American Heritage Month dates