After years of attempts to honor Native American contributions and heritage, a joint resolution was approved in 1990, designating November “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year.
This year’s Presidential Proclamation reaffirms the celebration of Native American traditions and contributions, while looking forward to improving resource gaps among Native American Communities.
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) suggests this month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.
Several national organizations, including the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and The Library of Congress and its partners, have events and programs during the month.
Other organizations offer resources to help educate students, provide resources for educators, and information for the public about Native Americans, including the American Indian College Fund, the National Endowment for the
Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Library staff have gathered books to display, which celebrate and highlight Native American cultures. Please feel free to check out a book or two, and see online resources on our Pinterest page. Join us in celebrating the diverse and rich heritage of our nation’s first citizens!