November is Native American Heritage Month, a time to recognize the rich heritage, achievements and contributions of Native Americans.
At Indiana University, a number of events, activities and special programming will be held across campuses for individuals, faculty, staff and community members to celebrate the work and cultures of Native and Indigenous peoples.
“I look forward to the university celebrating Native American Heritage Month and reflecting and learning about the diversity of Native Americans, their culture and traditions, and the rich histories within contemporary Native communities,” says James C. Wimbush, vice president for the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Johnson Chair for Diversity and Leadership.
You can view events scheduled throughout the month at events.iu.edu.
Efforts to acknowledge the contributions and achievements of Native Americans date back to as early as 1916, when New York became the first state to declare an “American Indian Day.” This acknowledgment came about due to the efforts of Red Fox James, a member of the Blackfeet Nation, who rode from state to state on horseback, seeking approval from 24 state governments for a day to honor Native Americans.
In 1976, as part of the nation’s bicentennial commemoration, President Gerald Ford proclaimed October 10-16 as “Native American Awareness Week.” In 1986, Congress passed a resolution requesting that the president designate November 23–30, 1986, as “American Indian Week.”
A month-long recognition of Native Americans did not occur until 1990 when President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional resolution designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month. The observance has since expanded to celebrate the heritage, history, art and traditions of American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Congress ultimately chose November as the month to honor Native Americans because it concludes their traditional harvest season and generally is a time of celebration and giving thanks. In October 2021, President Joe Biden and his administration officially declared November as National Native American Heritage Month.
IU campuses can access a wide variety of digital tools, such as Zoom backgrounds, social profile images and Snapchat filters to support Native American Heritage Month.