THE MONTHLY CLIMB: November, Native American Heritage
Updated: Mar 30
Native American National Heritage Month
Brief Native American History:
Native American Heritage month is celebrated in the month of November to honor the people who first lived on the land we call home today. When Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas he thought that he landed in India rather than the Isla de Hispaniola, and as a result, he called the island of Haiti and the Dominican Republic “the West Indies''. Due to this misconception, the name “Indian” was used to refer to people of indigenious descent. This term is no longer used due to the connotation of the phrase and its ability to diminish the differences of Native American Communities.
November as Native American Heritage Month:
Several states celebrate indegenous heritage on various days such as Indeginous People day, or Columbus day, and the fourth Friday of September. New York was the first state to recognize “American Indian Day,” which has since been renamed due to the history behind the term. We have yet to see the declaration of a national holiday to acknowledge Native American heritage, however, President George H. W. Bush approved of the designation of November as “National American Indian and Alaskan Heritage Month,” in 1990, and it has been celebrated ever since.
Importance of Native American Heritage Month:
This month is important to recognize in our country because of the implications of living on stolen land. The historical mistreatment and genocide of Native Americans at the hands of people who migrated to the continent has led to a systemic disparity in lifestyles that has lasting effects on the generations after. This includes access to the same quality food, healthcare, and education as the rest of the population. This population hasn’t been faced with the same level of cooperation from the government as others and is currently facing issues with access to housing, land, and water. Many Americans are unaware of what the indigenious population is facing today, so it is important to educate everyone on current issues. This is the first step to rectifying the current injustices they are plagued with .
Ways to Support the Community:
The best way to support the indegenious community this November is learning about the history and culture of the Native American and supporting authentic businesses. Below are descriptions of different types of businesses to support and ways to start learning about the topic.
- Jojo Siwa, the first Dancing with the Stars contestant to compete with a same-sex partner, has reached upprecidented levels of success as they enter in to the eights week of competition.
- Jessica Rosenworcel has been nominated as the first female chair of the Federal Communications Commission. She will work to “promote greater opportunity, accessibility, and affordability in our communications services in order to ensure that all Americans get a fair shot at 21st century success.”
- Dia De los Muertos, which is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd, allows individuals to dedicate a day of remembrance for their loved ones that have passed by making their favorite foods and the creation of an ofrenda.