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November is Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month! This is a time where we honor the rich culture and contributions of the first Americans. This month of recognition was made official in 1990 when President George H.W. Bush approved a joint resolution to designate November as National American Indian Heritage Month (over the years, this name has undergone several changes).

It is important to note that President Bush’s resolution didn’t come out of a vacuum—it was simply the last domino to fall in a long line of effort that runs all the way back to the beginning of the 20th century, when a Seneca Indian named Dr. Arthur C. Parker persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to set aside a day in honor of the “First Americans.” This early measure by Dr. Parker led to decades of work by Native American leaders and activist groups to get an official day or month of recognition from both state and federal governments (most memorably, Blackfoot Indian Red Fox James personally rode horseback from state to state to seek approval for a day to honor Indians).

To find out more about the complex history and accomplishments of America’s indigenous people, our library staff have put together a guide to Native American Heritage Month. Stay tuned for updates about NAH Month events by checking out this page:

If you’d like to watch videos or listen to audio recordings to broaden your horizons, the Library of Congress also has an extensive free list of NAH Month resources to experience.

Land Acknowledgement

Rio Salado College resides on ancestral lands. The City of Tempe’s 40 square miles are the historic homelands of the O’Odham (known as the Pima), Piipaash (known as the Maricopa), and their ancestors. During November 2021 Rio Salado College is initiating a land acknowledgement process whereby we will both formally recognize that the college resides on the ancestral lands of the O’Odham and Piipaash peoples and also engage with college and community members as to the significance of this fact.

Check out this map to learn more about the native lands of Indigenous nations: Native Lands Map.

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