Exploring the Heritage, Culture and Experience of America’s Indigenous Peoples
Native American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the rich and diverse ancestry, cultures, histories and traditions of Alaska Native/American Indian (AN/AI) peoples. According to the National Congress of American Indians, the month of November presents “an opportunity to educate our workforce, raise awareness about the uniqueness of Native people, and [honor] the myriad ways in which tribal citizens have conquered challenges to maintain voice and dignity and remain an influencing presence in a rapidly evolving nation.”
In 1986, Congress passed Pub. L. 99-471, which authorized and requested the president to proclaim the week of Nov. 23-30 as “American Indian Week.” Both the law and the proclamation recognized AN/AI peoples as the first inhabitants of the lands and honored their contributions to American society. This year’s theme, “Resilient and Enduring: We Are Native People,” reflects the determination and courage that Indigenous communities continue to exhibit.
For more information, visit nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov. The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association has a list of ways to celebrate and commemorate Native American Heritage Month available at aianta.org/NAHM. For year-round exhibitions, events and educational resources, visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center at alaskanative.net.