Getting To Know Our Community: National Native American Heritage Month

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National Native American Heritage Month (November, 2021)

 

“November is Native American Heritage Month, or as it is commonly referred to, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people,” according to the National Congress of American Indians.

“Plant Native Flowers; Whether you plant them in your own yard or a community garden, planting plants that are native to the area is a great way to honor Native American Heritage Month and support Mother Nature at the same time. A little research will turn up lots of flowers, trees, and shrubs perfect for this,” says Red Tricycle.

The 10 largest Native American tribes are Navajo, Cherokee, Sioux, Chippewa, Choctaw, Apache, Pueblo, Iroquois, Creek, and Blackfeet, according to census data from 2010.

Is it offensive to refer to Native Americans as Indian Americans?

According to the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), Smithsonian Institution, history, all of these terms are acceptable.

The consensus, however, is that whenever possible, Native people prefer to be called by their specific tribal name.

In the United States, Native American has been widely used but is falling out of favor with some groups, and the terms American Indian or Indigenous American are preferred by many Native people.

Native peoples often have individual preferences on how they would like to be addressed. When talking about Native groups or people, use the terminology the members of the community use to describe themselves collectively.

How can I celebrate Native American heritage?

You can visit a reservation or a museum. The US holds in trust 56.2 million acres of land for various Indian tribes and individuals, according to the US Department of Indian Affairs.
There are approximately 326 reservations.These reservations are not tourist attractions. Many are the remnants of native tribes’ lands, while others were created by the federal government for Native Americans who were forcibly removed from their lands. They are homes for tribes and communities; it’s where many live, work and raise their families.

However, some reservations welcome visitors and have even erected museums to educate the wider public about their history and culture.

For example, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, North Carolina, features an engaging exhibit fit for all ages. The Cherokee community also hosts cultural events and sells items nearby.

You can also attend or host an educational event.

The Library of Congress and National Archives are two of many national institutions hosting events about Native American history and culture this month.

You don’t have to be a Native American to appreciate and share their history and culture with your community.

(The U.S. Sun and NatonalToday.com were the source of the above information.  The Riverdale Y provides information about various peoples who are part of our community and may be your friends and neighbors. We urge you to learn about their heritage and history, and to share your support with them for these special holidays. ) Find out whose land you’re inhabiting here: native-land.ca.  The article in the Riverdale press last year is also instructive – https://riverdalepress.com/stories/before-van-cortlandts-there-were-the-munsee,72672?.