Native American Heritage Month celebrates Indigenous communities across the country

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November is Native American Heritage Month, and for Indigenous peoples across the country, it’s a chance to share the unique ancestry, traditions and contributions their communities make today and have made throughout history. .

“Far too often in our founding days and for centuries that have followed, our nation’s promise has been denied to Native Americans who have lived on this land from time immemorial,” President Joe Biden said in the proclamation naming the month. of November of Native American heritage. .

“Despite a painful history marked by unjust federal policies of assimilation and elimination, the Native American and Native peoples of Alaska have persevered,” he added.

Biden signed a proclamation on October 28, proclaiming November National Native American Heritage Month.

It gives a national spotlight to Indigenous peoples, communities, and organizations as they work to educate and share stories about tribal nations across the United States.

“During National Native American Heritage Month, we celebrate the countless contributions of Indigenous peoples past and present, honor the influence they have had on the advancement of our nation, and we pledge to respect the trust and treaty responsibilities, strengthen tribal sovereignty and advance the tribal community. self-determination, ”Biden said.

There are 574 federally recognized tribes in the United States, according to the Office of Indian Affairs, and each tribe has its own culture and traditions.

In November, some tribes often take the opportunity to share more about themselves by hosting events or educational sessions throughout the month, but due to COVID-19, many of them have returned online or are subject to their local COVID-19 restrictions.

Arizona’s Gila River Governor Stephen Roe Lewis praised Biden’s proclamation for November.

“Native American Heritage Month is a testament to the resilience and strength of the Gila River Indian community, the tribes of Arizona State and Indian Country,” said Lewis. “I appreciate President Biden’s proclamation designating November as Native American Month and recognizing that not only this month but every month, we must honor the cultures and enduring contributions of all Native Americans.”

“There is no aspect of American history that has not been touched by our tribal communities, which predate the founding of state and nation by several centuries. From military service and agriculture to water and land conservation, our tribes have always played an extremely important role in shaping the world around us, ”added Lewis. “Our heritage is testament to our defining ability to meet any challenge, transcend even the most difficult of circumstances, and contribute to the fabric of this country.”

On the Navajo Nation, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer shared their recognition of National Native American Heritage Month on their social media platforms on Monday.

November is a month “to honor the hope, future and resilience of Indigenous peoples, including the Navajo people, and to celebrate Indigenous cultures, languages ​​and indigenousness,” their article read.

“The month is a time to cherish and celebrate our rich and diverse cultures, traditions, languages ​​and heritages,” Nez said. “Our cultures and traditions are very much alive every day and with continued strength and resilience our children and grandchildren will carry our teachings into the future. “

Nationally, Home Secretary Deb Haaland – the first Native American to hold a ministerial post – kicked off the month in a video address on her Twitter page highlighting some of the work the U.S. Department of the Interior is continuing. to do for Native Americans in Alaska. Indigenous, Native Hawaiian, and Island communities. Haaland is New Mexico’s Laguna Pueblo.

“This month, we honor the gifts of our ancestors by celebrating Indigenous knowledge, traditions, language and culture. But at Interior, we do it every day, ”said Haaland.

“We are focusing our work on the voices of Indigenous peoples as we address the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous peoples and take action to help people heal from the painful practices of forced assimilation of residential schools,” she said. added.

“Native American history is American history and it is only by recognizing this history that we can build an equitable and inclusive future. Happy Native American Heritage Month everyone, ”said Haaland.

Google helped honor Indigenous Peoples for Native American Heritage Month with a Google Doodle featuring the late artist Zuni Pueblo We: wa.

The doodle was illustrated by artist Zuni Pueblo Mallery Quetawki, and it is a tribute to the late We: wa, who was a Zuni Pueblo fiber artist, weaver, and potter.

“The late We: wa was a cultural leader and revered mediator among the Zuni tribe, dedicating his life to the preservation of Zuni traditions and history,” Google said.

“Our nations, our stories”

How did Native American Heritage Month start? The first proclamation of Native American Heritage Month came in 1990 from President George HW Bush, after Congress passed a resolution that designated November 1990 as National Native American Heritage Month.

In 1991, Congress passed another resolution stating that each November will be proclaimed “American Indian Heritage Month,” and since then every sitting president has signed a proclamation.

The proclamations didn’t stop there: 18 years later, Congress passed the Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009, which designates the Friday following Thanksgiving Day each year as Native American Heritage Day.

These proclamations shine the national spotlight on Indigenous communities across the United States, and many large Indigenous organizations are joining together to raise awareness and celebrate November.

For example, the National Congress of American Indians launched its Native American Heritage Month campaign on Monday in announcing their theme on Twitter: “Our nations, our histories: reconquest through education.

“The unique stories and stories of tribal governments are what connect our communities and peoples – but more often than not they are told for us, rooted in misconceptions and half-truths,” NCAI tweeted.

“Through public education, we can recover the narrative and promote a common understanding of the rightful place of tribal nations in the family of American governments,” they added.

November celebrations are popping up across the country and varying from community to community, but one of the biggest national celebrations is the Rock Your Mocs social media event.

Rock Your Mocs is a social media event that features indigenous people wearing their traditional moccasins and encourages people to wear their moccasins, take a photo or video and share their stories using the event hashtags.

“We, as Indigenous peoples, are united by our tribal individuality, symbolically wear our moccasins, honor our ancestors and Indigenous peoples around the world, during Rock Your Mocs and National Native American Heritage Month,” the organizers said on Facebook.

The Rock Your Mocs Facebook page announced that its year, the event begins on November 14 and will end on November 20.

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