November is Native American Heritage Month, aka American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. While the annual month-long celebration has been in existence for only 33 years, efforts to honor Native Americans go back more than a century to “American Indian Day,” which was declared a holiday by the Governor of New York State in 1916 and celebrated on the second Saturday in May. Fast forward to 1986, when Congress declared the week of November 23-30 as “American Indian Week.” This weeklong commemoration evolved into a month-long celebration in 1990, when President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November "National American Indian Heritage Month." This resolution officially recognized “the many outstanding achievements of this country's original inhabitants and their descendants.” Celebrate Native Americans this month by learning more about the diverse cultures that continue to evolve and make vital contributions to the United States. Take a virtual tour of the National Museum of the American Indian; view timely offerings from PBS; and click here to learn how the Smithsonian is commemorating Native American heritage. Interested in some relevant reading? Check out the exciting titles below; click on the book cover to be taken to the link in our catalog.
“Humans are vulnerable and rely on the kindnesses of the earth and the sun; we exist together in a sacred field of meaning.” Joy Harjo
“Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is of the past, Wisdom is of the future.” Lumbee Nation
“The Earth does not belong to us: we belong to the Earth.” Chief Seattle
"I do not think the measure of a civilization is how tall its buildings of concrete are, but rather how well its people have learned to relate to their environment and fellow man." Sun Bear, Chippewa
"We will be known forever by the tracks we leave." Dakota Nation