Celebrate November!

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Allan & Carla Messinger at Catasaqua Fall Fest -credit Catasaqua Press

Allan & Carla Messinger at Catasaqua Fall Fest -credit Catasaqua Press

American Indian Heritage Month Banner

          Celebrate  November  ~ Celebrate Native American Indian Heritage Month  and  Native American Heritage Day!  Remember our Native American Veterans, too! (See Military & Women’s pages)

New ProgramsHow Native Americans Saved Football!  Penn’s Woods: The Peaceable Kindgdom.  Native Americans: Keepers of the Land and Water.  Native Americans NOW!  See our Programs Page for more information. 

When the Shadbush Blooms  in paperback!  As a signed & dedicated book from our website, your favorite book seller or in bulk from Lee & Low!

The Friday After Thanksgiving Is Designated as a  Federal Day of Tribute!  The Federal Holiday you did NOT  know existed!  Most people call it Black Friday.

tools on deer skinHow do you Celebrate the Culture, Contributions & Endurance of your local Native People?  How do you show your students that Native Americans are alive and living in your community today?


NY Times: A Conversation With Native Americans on Race

1621 A New look at Thanksgiving, National Geographic, Catherine O’Neill Grace & Margaret Bruchac with Plimoth Plantation.  GOOD RESOURCE – visuals and descriptions.

Read below the Proclamation for Resources!


As the First Americans, Native Americans have helped shape the future of the United States through every turn of our history. Today, young American Indians and Alaska Natives embrace open-ended possibility and are determining their own destinies. During National Native American Heritage Month, we pledge to maintain the meaningful partnerships we have with tribal nations, and we renew our commitment to our nation-to-nation relationships as we seek to give all our children the future they deserve.

Over our long shared history, there have been too many unfortunate chapters of pain and tragedy, discrimination and injustice. We must acknowledge that history while recognizing that the future is still ours to write. That is why my Administration remains dedicated to strengthening our government-to-government relationships with tribal nations and working to improve the lives of all our people. Three years ago, I issued an Executive Order establishing the White House Council on Native American Affairs to help ensure the Federal Government engages in true and lasting relationships with tribes and promotes the development of prosperous and resilient tribal communities. Last month, I hosted the eighth Tribal Nations Conference and brought tribal leaders together to identify key issues we still face. We have worked to better protect sacred lands and restored many acres of tribal homelands, as well as supported greater representation of indigenous peoples before the United Nations and called for further implementation of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. And we have taken steps to strengthen tribal sovereignty in criminal justice matters, including through the Tribal Law and Order Act.

Through the Affordable Care Act and permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, we empowered more Native Americans to access the quality health care they need to live full, healthy lives. Throughout their lives, 84 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls will experience some form of violence, and in 2013, I signed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which allows tribes to prosecute non-Native individuals who commit acts of domestic violence in Indian Country. And through the North American Working Group on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls, we are strengthening regional coordination on the rights of women and girls from indigenous communities across the continent.

In recognition of the immeasurable contributions that Native Americans have made to our Nation, we continue to advocate for expanding opportunity across Indian Country. We have supported tribal colleges and universities and worked to return control of education to tribal nations — not only to prepare Native youth for the demands of future employment, but also to promote their own tribal languages and cultures. We are investing in job training and clean-energy projects, infrastructure, and high-speed internet that connects Native American communities to the broader economy. We are connecting more young people and fostering a national dialogue to empower the next generation of Native leaders through the Generation Indigenous initiative. Through www.NativeOneStop.gov, we have also worked to improve coordination and access to Federal services throughout Indian Country. Indian Country still faces many challenges, but we have made significant progress together since I took office, and we must never give up on our pursuit of the ever brighter future that lies ahead.

This month, let us celebrate the traditions, languages, and stories of Native Americans and ensure their rich histories and contributions can thrive with each passing generation. Let us continue to build on the advancements we have made, because enduring progress will depend on our dedication to honoring our trust and treaty responsibilities. With sustained effort and unwavering optimism, we can ensure a vibrant and resilient Indian Country filled with possibility and prosperity.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2016 as National Native American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to commemorate this month with appropriate programs and activities, and to celebrate November 25, 2016, as Native American Heritage Day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.       BARACK OBAMA

The links to the left in the Celebrate November! section will give you background, projects, lesson plans, resources and more!  Below you will find  the Origins of Native American Indian Heritage Month & Native American Heritage Day!

spring planting traditional

Wampanoag Man

So look for: Native Food; Thanksgiving Food; Tidbits – Clothing for Native & Pilgrims; The Wampanoag People – they met the Pilgrims; Background on Thanksgiving & various points of view;  This Month in History – November; Children’s Pages; Teacher/Parent Pages; Activity Page for When the Shadbush Blooms and our free newsletter.  Visit: http://www.tolerance.org/search/apachesolr_search/Native%20American

powwow man


 The Friday After Thanksgiving Will Now Be Designated as Day of Tribute   


Washington, DC – Earlier this week President Bush signed into law legislation introduced by Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto), to designate the Friday after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day. The Native American Heritage Day Bill, H.J. Res. 62, is supported by the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) and 184 federally recognized tribes, and designates Friday, November 28, 2008, as a day to pay tribute to Native Americans for their many contributions to the United States.

“I am pleased the President took quick action on signing this legislation, which recognizes the importance of Native Americans to our history and culture,” said Rep. Baca. “It is critical we honor the contributions of Native Americans and ensure all Americans are properly educated on their heritage and many achievements.”

The Native American Heritage Day Bill encourages Americans of all backgrounds to observe Friday, November 28, as Native American Heritage Day, through appropriate ceremonies and activities. It also encourages public elementary and secondary schools to enhance student understanding of Native Americans by providing classroom instruction focusing on their history, achievements, and contributions. As a state Assemblyman, Rep. Baca introduced the legislation that established the fourth Friday of September as Native American Day in California – which became state law in 1998.

H.J. Res. 62 was originally passed by the House of Representatives on November 13, 2007. The bill was passed with technical adjustments by unanimous consent in the U.S. Senate on September 22, 2008. Then, on September 26, 2008, the House of Representatives unanimously voted to pass the legislation again, this time including the adjustments from the Senate. The legislation was signed into public law by the President on October 8, 2008.

“This law will help to preserve the great history and legacy of Native Americans,” added Rep. Baca. “Native Americans and their ancestors have played a vital role in the formation of our nation. They have fought with valor and died in every American war dating back to the Revolutionary War, and deserve this special acknowledgement.”

“Since my time in the California State Legislature, I have fought to ensure Native Americans receive the recognition they deserve,” continued Rep. Baca. “After introducing the legislation that established Native American Day in California, I am proud to have introduced and passed the legislation that creates a national day of recognition. I thank my good friend James Ramos, now Chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, for standing with me from the beginning on this long journey to ensure the contributions of Native Americans are recognized and appreciated by all.”

President Signs Baca Bill Creating Native American Heritage Day

This is a wonderful thing that has been declared, a National Day to recognize the Tribes.

Colleen F. Cawston, MPA, Director – Indian Policy and Support Services PO Box 45105, Olympia, Wa 98504-5105 cawstcf@dshs.wa.gov 360-902-7816 (office) 360-489-9052 (cell) 360-902-7855 (fax)

From: shayne del cohen [shayne@sprintmail.com] Journal # 1201  10/17/08

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   American Indian Heritage Month BannerA Brief History of Native American Heritage Month  

Source: U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs

What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose.      Dr. Arthur C. Parker

Early Proponents

A C ParkerA C Parker

One of the very proponents of an American Indian Day was Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, who was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y. He persuaded the Boy Scouts of American to set aside a day for the “First Americans” and for three years they adopted such a day.  In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting in Lawrence, Kans., formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day.  It directed its president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapahoe, to call upon the country to observe such a day. Coolidge issued a proclamation on Sept. 28, 1915, which declared the second Saturday of each May as an American Indian Day and contained the first formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens.

The year before this proclamation was issued, Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Indians.  On December 14, 1915, he presented the endorsements of 24 state governments at the White House.  There is no record, however, of such a national day being proclaimed.

State Celebrations

The first American Indian Day in a state was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of N.Y. Several states celebrate the fourth Friday in September.  In Illinois, for example, legislators enacted such a day in 1919. Presently, several states have designated Columbus Day as Native American Day, but it continues to be a day we observe without any recognition as a national legal holiday.

Heritage Months

In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.”  Similar proclamations have been issued each year since 1994. The theme for 2004 was “Celebrating our Strengths.”

Information Please® Database, © 2005 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

The term “Native American” came into usage in the 1960s to denote American Indians and Alaskan Natives (Indians, Eskimos, and Aleuts of Alaska). There are more than 554 federally recognized Indian tribes and Alaska native groups, each with their own culture and history. They speak more than 250 languages. Web Editors Note:  There are many state recognized Native Nations / Groups and many more that are not recognized by their state of origin.