It's November! And you know what that means? Aside from the colorful leaves and the looming winter season, we celebrate our Native American friends! November is Native American Heritage Month!
What is Native American Heritage Month?
Former President of the United States George H. W. Bush declared the month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month, also referred to as Native American Heritage Month on August 3, 1990. Ever since, the month of November has been dedicated to celebrating and honoring indigenous people, the culture, and understanding and educating others on the true history of Natives in America.
People often don’t know whether to use the term Native American or American Indian. However, Native American, Indigenous Peoples and American Indian are all terms commonly used, even within the community. Many will tell you that they prefer for you to use their tribal affiliation if it is known, such as Cheyenne or Sioux, rather than more general terms. However, some may prefer one term over the other and I would suggest asking!
Celebrate by downloading our “Find a book” freebie and embark on an adventure finding books by Native American Authors.
Why do we celebrate Native American Heritage Month?
We celebrate indigenous people during the month of November in order to call attention to all of the contributions the nation’s original inhabitants and their descendants have made to our country. We celebrate the culture, traditions and accomplishments in order to understand how much we owe to Native Americans for their efforts in shaping America and the way we live today.
Ways to Celebrate Native American Heritage Month Include:
- Educating yourself and others about the history of Native Americans/Indigenous people in America.
- Discuss the truth about the real first Thanksgiving with your children.
- Read about the culture and traditions of Native American culture and help your child understand there are several different tribes.
- Read Native American Authors.
Sophia Burkmyre will be a junior this Fall at Michigan State University where she is studying Marketing and public relations. Sophia likes to go on walks, travel, and spend time with friends and family in her spare time.