Native American Heritage Day: Know Its Importance And How To Celebrate This Important Day!

Native American Heritage Day

A federal holiday observed every year in the United States on the Friday following Thanksgiving. Native American heritage, history, and contributions are honoured on this day, which is also known as American Indian Heritage Day. This day has legal holiday or observance status in some places.

The idea of setting aside a day to honour the contributions Indigenous peoples have made to the founding and development of the United States was first raised by activists more than a century ago. An official proposal for American Indian Day was accepted in 1915 by the American Indian Association Congress.

The Rev. Sherman Coolidge, the group’s leader, declared the second Saturday in May of every year to be American Indian Day in a proclamation that was released on September 28. This was the group’s first official request for citizenship.

The designation of November as National Native American Heritage Month was first made official in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush, and it has since been expanded on for the past 30 years.

We can raise people’s awareness of tribes or the different difficulties that Native Americans have experienced both historically and currently by educating them during this month. We pledge to continue helping the few remaining Native American tribes and raising awareness of their sacrifices during this month.

Also Read: Know To Celebrate National Parfait Day

What Is Native American Heritage Day?

What Is Native American Heritage Day?

For the generations of Native/Indigenous Americans who have fought to have their roots, customs, traditions, and legacy respected, the celebration, while it may be new to you, is long overdue.

According to Jamie Schulze (Northern Cheyenne/Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate), acting director for Southwest Association of American Indian Art’s (SWAIA), which was first enacted into law in 2008, “The Native American Heritage Day Resolution” was signed by President Obama in 2009, officially establishing the day.

Lauren Driscoll (Ren), a Michigan FoodCorps volunteer who works with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and other Indigenous groups, argues that the celebration offers a stark contrast to how commercialised Thanksgiving and Black Friday have become.

The festival gives both Natives and non-Natives a day to honour Native history, culture, land, and much more, according to Driscoll, even if many Native people view Thanksgiving Day as a National Day of Mourning.

“Native cultures frequently celebrate the harvest at this time, making it a day to give thanks and have fun. Native American Heritage Month has been observed annually in November since 1990 with the same objectives of honouring and appreciating Indigenous peoples and their history.”

One important qualification is made by Driscoll, who observes that “not everyone is in favour of Native American Heritage Day being the day after Thanksgiving, set on ‘Black Friday,’ this day of greed and capitalism directly contradicts the beliefs, cultures, and traditions of many Native communities, and is overlooked by news stories of sales, crowds, and shopping.”

Read More: Know The History And significance Of World Diabetes Day

History Of Native American Heritage Day

Know The History of Native American Heritage Day

Between 1912 and 1915, Dr. Arthur C. Parker of the Seneca tribe was the first to object to National Native American Heritage Day. He initially fought to have an “American Indian Day” acknowledged by the Boy Scouts of America.

The legislation to declare the day following Thanksgiving as American Indian Heritage Day was introduced by Congressman Joe Baca, and it was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush in 1990.

On November 28, a law was passed designating the day as a day to honour Native Americans for their countless contributions to the country. 184 federally recognised tribes and the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) sponsored American Indian Heritage Day.

Through ceremonies and other events, Native American Heritage Day inspires Americans of all backgrounds to respect indigenous traditions in their proper context. By offering classroom activities that highlight Native Americans’ history, contributions, and accomplishments, schools are also urged to increase their students’ awareness of Native Americans.

The Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009 was first approved by the US House of Representatives; technical changes were then made by agreement in the US Senate. The measure, with the Senate’s amendments, was passed by the House of Representatives in a unanimous vote. On October 30, 2009, President Barack Obama then put the measure into effect.

Native Americans have a big platform on Native American Heritage Day and Month to inform the public about their communities. More than ever on this day, they take the lead in promoting cultural dialogue, honouring their ancestry by dressing in traditional attire (referred to as “rocking the moccasin”), and shedding attention on the various indigenous groups.

How To Celebrate Native American Heritage Day

How to Honor the Day Together

As towns and cities arrange festivals, art exhibitions, and museum displays to highlight Native artists, musicians, and community leaders, there are many opportunities to observe Native American Heritage Day and Month and learn more about Native culture.

Cooking Native American food, reading books written by Indigenous writers, and patronising regional Native-owned businesses are all ways you may honour the culture at home. An excellent method to learn about various tribes’ cultures is to create an Indigenous food.

Consider Wojapi, a hearty berry pudding, or Frybread, a sweet disc of fried white flour, sugar, and lard dough created by tenacity. Try grilling freshly caught salmon or a Three Sisters-style succotash of corn, beans, and squash over an open fire for a delicious feast.

Although Native American Heritage Day is only observed for a single day, Indigenous-owned products and companies should get support all year round. Visit eateries run by Native people, get takeout from them, or shop at businesses owned by them that provide clothing, cosmetics, or fashion.

As a way to honour Native American Heritage Day and Month, pick up a book by a Native author for your next read. Strong narratives concerning the culture, representation, victories, and customs of Indigenous kids are featured in these YA novels.

These novels, including Wab Kinew’s Walking in Two Worlds and Angeline Boulley’s Firekeeper’s Daughter, deserve to be prominently displayed on your bookcase. Giving to Native organizations, if you’re able to, is a meaningful way to celebrate Native American Heritage Day.

The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) is a nonprofit organisation that uses legal action, legal advocacy, and legal know-how to defend Native American rights, resources, and ways of life.

The American Indian College Fund provides financial aid for Native American students as well as tribal colleges and universities, and the Native American Heritage Association offers “food, clothing, heating assistance, and other emergency programmes” for Native families in need living on reservations in South Dakota and Wyoming.

Native American Heritage Day is observed in a number of American cities and communities with celebrations. To find local food festivals, seminars, parades, exhibits, galleries, tours, pop-up markets, and other activities in your region, try typing “Native American Heritage Day events near me” into a search engine.

The Importance Of Native American Heritage Day And Teachings

Know The Importance Of Native American Heritage Day And Teachings

The U.S. Government has acknowledged this since 2008 even though it isn’t a federal holiday. An American Indian Awareness Day has been demanded since 1914 by Native Americans and various state governments. American Indian Week was first instituted by President Reagan in November 1986.

To highlight the customs, heritage, and contributions of Native peoples to our country, Native American Heritage Day and Native American Heritage Month have both been established. This is an attempt to address historical bias, erasure of Native American culture, and ignorance about America’s Indigenous peoples.

Native American tribes have historically been the subject of myths and misconceptions that have dominated history and the media. In recent years, an effort has been made to conduct more impartial and respectful research on Native Americans’ history and way of life.

With kid-friendly activities, you may observe Native American Heritage Day in 2022 in classrooms or at home. Students’ comprehension of the diversity present in the hundreds of active Indigenous groups will be aided by researching two or more tribes.

There is a tonne of children’s literature available, as well as stories written by and about Native Americans and interesting Native myths for kids. Remember that Native peoples are still a part of society today when you teach colonial history from Native American views in a way that is age-appropriate.

There is a lot to discover because Native Americans’ predecessors have been present for thousands of years, such as the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings or prehistoric cave art. Children of all grade levels will appreciate making respectful totem poles, dream catchers, storytelling stones, and other Native American-inspired arts and crafts.

Finding out about notable Native Americans, both past and present, is also a terrific idea. Have fun commemorating this cultural day together and promote curiosity about Native Americans.

Conclusion

On November 26, the day following Thanksgiving, National Native American Heritage Day is observed. The Native American Heritage Day Act of 2008 was passed by Congress and signed on October 8 by President George W. Bush.

President Barack Obama signed a resolution in 2009 declaring the Friday after Thanksgiving to be “Native American Heritage Day.” On this day, American Indians are given particular recognition, as their vibrant cultures, successes, contributions, and legacy are honoured.

The bald eagle on the United States shield is an Iroquois symbol, and Native Americans are the first people in American history. We can take in exhibits of their distinctive cuisine and cultural attire on this day while also speaking out against the severe injustices they have endured.

Sheetal

I'm a 4th Year student of Architecture Undergraduate programme at Priyadarshini Institute of Architecture And Design Studies, Nagpur. During my studies, I have worked on multiple projects and these assignments have helped me to become a great team player and how to function well in fast paced and deadline driven environments. Some of interests are Sketching, listening and exploring old music, watching documentaries and being an architectural student I like to explore the conceptual angle of every element.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap