Why Native American Heritage Month?

Native American Heritage Month celebrates the contributions of those Americans who can trace their ancestry to indigenous groups throughout the Americas. 

The move to designate November as Native American Heritage Month started in the early 1900’s.  At this time, the goal was to designate one national day for honoring Native Americans and their contributions.  The first state Native American Day was declared in New York in 1916.  But it was not until 1990 that a federal proclamation was declared when President Bush declared November as National American Indian Month. Since 1994, November has been federally declared some variant of Native American Month. 

Today, many organizations such as the University of California, Berkeley, are expanding the group honored by Native American Month to include any American who can trace his/her heritage to any indigenous group in the Americas. It is time for us all to recognize that we live on stolen lands and honor those whose lands we live on. What are you doing in your classroom/school/institution to honor Native Americans?

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