November is Native American Heritage Month also known as American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage. It is a time to honor and celebrate the history, heritage, and culture of America’s original indigenous people.  It is also a time to educate people about Native culture and the challenges Native people face today and in the past.   

Since the early 1900s, many throughout the United States have advocated for more observances recognizing Native Americans. Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback across the country seek approval for a day to honor Indians in 1914. In 1915, the Congress of American Indian Association approved a plan recognizing American Indian Day on the second Saturday of May. In 1916, the first American Indian Day was celebrated in New York. In 1986, the U.S. Congress passed a proclamation authorizing “American Indian Week,” and in 1990, President George H.W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” From 1990, presidential proclamations have been issued annually to celebrate the heritage and culture of Native Americans.    

To learn more about National Native American Heritage Month, please visit the resources below.

Presidential Proclamation on National Native American Heritage Month, 2021

United States Census Bureau -  American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

United States Department of the Interior Indian Affairs

Native American Heritage Month

Native Americans in the United States Military

This page was last updated on October 26, 2022