The term ‘Native American’ includes over 500 different groups and reflects great diversity of geographic location, language, socioeconomic conditions, school experience, and retention of traditional spiritual and cultural practices.
—Debbie Reese, “Teaching Young Children About Native Americans”
President Obama has proclaimed November 2011 to be National Native American Heritage Month. A copy of this proclamation can be found here.
American Indians and Alaska Natives have contributed immensely to our country’s heritage. During National Native American Heritage Month, we commemorate their enduring achievements and reaffirm the vital role American Indians and Alaska Natives play in enriching the character of our Nation.
Recognition efforts for Native Americans started at the turn of the century with 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. The first Native American Heritage Month was in observed in 1990, after 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.
More information about Native American Heritage Month can be found at the Native American Heritage Month’s Homepage.