Snippet: Native American Heritage Month


Historical Overview:

  • Originated in 1986 when Congress passed Public Law 99-471 which made the President proclaim week of November 23-30, 1986 as “American Indian Week”

  • Then, in 1991, Congress passed Public Law 102-103 which made the President proclaim the months November 1991 and 1992 as “Native American Indian Heritage Month”

  • Eventually, the president of all following years issued annual proclamations that November is National American Indian Heritage Month

Educate yourself:

  • Land Acknowledgement: Visit to learn about the land you are currently on, including the Indigenous territory, treaties, and languages that are significant in the area. The website encourages territory awareness and for education on topics of Indigenous land. This site is a great resource to begin educating yourself in a way that is separate from colonial ways of thinking.

  • Decolonize your knowledge of history: Visit sites such as Doctrine of Discovery (, is an educational resource maintained by the Indigenous Values Initiative and the American Indian Law Alliance, to start the process of relearning history, beginning with the deconstruction of the idea that “Christopher Columbus discovered America”.

Native American Cultural Influences:

  • Foods: Many foods were introduced by Native Americans, such as corn, beans, squash, melon, and pumpkin. These foods all have significant roles in American diet. Think toward the example of pumpkin pie, a food that is uniquely American and has spread to other areas of the world.

  • Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving is a huge holiday celebrated in the U.S. that began in 1621 with the pilgrims and Native Americans. This celebration typically involves foods introduced by Native Americans like the aforementioned corn, pumpkin, turkey, and more.

  • Sports/Activities: Many well-known sports and activities are also derived from the Native Americans. These include canoeing, lacrosse, snow-shoeing, and tug-of-war, which are now played around the world. Even the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have programs and activities centered around Native American crafts and traditions.


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