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Four Ways to Celebrate Native American Heritage Month 

November 1, 2021 | sheabrand

Native American Heritage

November is Native American Heritage Month. It’s possible some readers already celebrated October’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a holiday that replaces Christopher Columbus Day and instead honors the invaluable contributions of Native American peoples. Regardless of when you celebrate, what matters most is that we honor our Native American friends while giving back to their community. 

Dylan Baca – 19 year old activist and President of the Indigenous Peoples Initiative. He played a critical role in President Biden’s proclamation.

 

Indigenous Peoples’ Day was originally intended as a counter-celebration to the oft-repeated lies about Columbus’ discovery of the Americas, which had long been settled by Native peoples. The day also acts to correct some of the whitewashing surrounding Columbus Day, its celebration of imperialism, and its record of glossing over the ensuing destruction of Native peoples communities after his arrival. 

Activist Sareya Taylor
Posing with a bloody handprint over her face, student and poet Sareya Taylor solemnly brings attention to stereotypes and oppression of Native peoples. Source: Instagram @jackson.street.youth.services.

 

President Biden acknowledged the significance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day in a proclamation. This is a big deal. It’s the first time a sitting president has acknowledged the holiday. Among other things, the president’s proclamation said, “Today, we acknowledge the significant sacrifices made by Native peoples to this country — and recognize their many ongoing contributions to our Nation.”

Secretary Deb Haaland
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the first Native American cabinet member, ran the Boston Marathon to commemorate Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Source: Twitter.

 

If this sounds righteous to you, join us in celebration! There’s no right or wrong way to celebrate our Native American brothers and sisters. In case you don’t know where to start, here are some resources to better acquaint yourself with the indelible mark Native American peoples have made on our culture. 

Make a Donation to One of These Nonprofits

Native American Rights Fund – This is the largest and most powerful nonprofit law firm that specializes in defending and asserting Native peoples rights and sovereignty. As their website boldly declares, “We hold governments accountable.”

American Indian College Fund – Give the gift of education. AICF provides financial support for Native American students as well as tribal colleges and universities. 

Support a Native American Artist

There are innumerable talented, deserving Native American artists. But a few of our favorites are:

Frank Buffalo Hyde – Born without an arm and a leg, his story of resilience and strength perfectly encapsulates the plight of many Native peoples. 

Wendy Red Star – The brilliance of her art is how she pokes fun at white America’s stereotypical view of Native Americans through her striking self-portraits.

Spread the Word on Social Media

Awareness is half the battle! Enlighten and educate your friends and followers with the hashtag #IndigenousPeoplesDay. 

Become Active in the Movement

Join the Landback Movement. This bold movement wants to dismantle and defund white supremacy, while returning all public lands back into indigenous hands.

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