Native American Heritage Month bringing significance and honor to Native Americans

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Grand Canyon National Park, Erin Whittaker

Thursday, November 8th the Grand Canyon National Park celebrated National American Heritage Month by honoring their culture, history, and accomplishments.

Chloe Lundy, Editor-in-Chief

 The month of November is known as Native American Heritage month or American Indian, and Alaska Native American Heritage month. Throughout the month of November, we celebrate the heritage and the culture of the Native Americans. This tradition first started in 1990 when Congress passed a law and signed a joint resolution designating the month of November to be known as Native American Heritage month. 

Native American Heritage Month is a month designated to honor the traditions, languages,  and stories of the Native American culture. This month also honors Native Alaskan, Native Hawaiian, and Island communities as well to make sure their culture and rich history continues to pass throughout the next generations. Native Americans have faced many hardships and challenges throughout the years, and it is important that we honor their story and tradition. 

The National Congress of Native Americans website states that in 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian association meeting formally approved a plan concerning American Indian day. On September 28, 1915, Coolidge issued the second Saturday of each May as American Indian day and this was the first annual day to honor the Indians, as citizens. The Native American Heritage Month website also states that the first ever state which declared a day to Indian citizenships was New York, in 1916, which was on the second Saturday of May. 

Also other states like Illiois celebrate on the fourth Friday in September. Then in 1990, President George W. Bush approved a joint solution designating November National American Indian heritage month. There have been variants on the name like Native American Heritage month, and National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. These have been issued since 1994.