It’s a time to celebrate the history, contributions, and traditions of the first Americans who inhabited what is now the United States.
November was first designated National American Indian Heritage Month in 1990 when President George H.W. Bush approved a joint resolution of Congress.
That November he issued a proclamation saying, in part,
Today Americans of all ages recognize the many outstanding achievements of this country’s original inhabitants and their descendants. Young and old alike know the story of Sacajawea, the Shoshone woman who helped to guide Lewis and Clark on their historic expedition and, in so doing, helped to open the door to the Great West. The giant redwood trees protected in a number of our national parks bear the name of Sequoia, in honor of the great Cherokee leader who taught thousands to read and write and, in so doing, helped to unite and strengthen the Cherokee Nation. We also recall the achievements of Charles Curtis, the proud descendant of Native Americans who served this country not only as a member of Congress but also as Vice President. However, such celebrated examples constitute only a small portion of the rich, centuries-old heritage of American Indians. Indeed, each of the many tribes that have inhabited this great land boasts a long and fascinating legacy of its own.
This month, we honor those legacies. We dedicate ourselves to learning more about Native American history—both the conflicts and the accomplishments—and about Native American culture and customs.
Read and discover more at http://nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov.
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