The month of November is recognized at Native American Heritage Month, with November 25th being recognized as Native American Heritage Day. Native American Heritage Day is held annually on the Friday after Thanksgiving, after being signed into law in 2008. This month is also commonly referred to as American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.
According to the National Congress of American Indians, “The 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.” This month is a great time to discuss and celebrate the history and contributions of Native Americans.
With the Thanksgiving holiday also celebrated in the month of November, it’s important for all students, and especially students with Native American or American Indian heritage, that we take the time to incorporate activities and historically accurate information and events into classroom lessons this month and every month.
Below are some suggestions and resources you can use throughout Native American Heritage Month:
- This year Google Arts and Culture in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), is featuring 10 ways to celebrate Native American Heritage Month.
- This resource features great visuals and information from the history of the Native American Code Talkers of WWI and WWII, to virtual national park and museum tours all over the Americas (North and South).
- This recognition month is a complex holiday and it’s important to discuss the nuances with students of all ages. Check out the above perspective from an enrolled Native American and enrolled Tribal member of the Cherokee Nation on how to recognize and celebrate these thriving communities.
Learn About Native American Nations, Tribes, & Land In Your Area
- This site features compiled lists of what the First Nations Development Institute considers to be essential reading for anyone interested in the Native American experience. Lists are included for adults and children of all ages!
Taking the time to incorporate and recognize Native American Heritage Month within your lessons will help to celebrate the triumphs and resilience of Native Americans and celebrate them with gratitude.
- "Native American Heritage Month." National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), www.ncai.org/initiatives/native-american-heritage-month.
- "10 Ways to Celebrate Native American Heritage Month." Google Arts & Culture, https://artsandculture.google.com/story/10-ways-to-celebrate-native-american-heritage-month/GAUhe-CUlT6IPQ.
- “Ways to Honor Indigenous Cultures During Native American Heritage Month”. Food Corps, 2 Nov. 2021.https://foodcorps.org/honor-indigenous-cultures-during-native-american-heritage-month/.
- "Native Land Digital." Native Land Digital, https://native-land.ca/.
- "Native American Museums and Landmarks in Los Angeles." Trip Savvy, 26 Jun. 2019, www.tripsavvy.com/native-american-los-angeles-1586770.
- "Knowledge Center, Books." First Nations Development Institute, www.firstnations.org/knowledge-center/books/.