The first American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1016 in New York. The event cumulated an effort by Red Fox James, a member of the Blackfeet Nation who rode across the nation on horseback seeking approval from 24 state governments to have a day to honor American Indians. In 1990, more than seven decades later, then President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional resolution designating the month of November “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations have been issued every year since 1994 to recognize what is now called “American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.” This Facts for Features presents statistics for American Indians and Alaska Natives, one of the six major race categories defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
Native American Indians have also faced unique problems regarding stereotyping and cultural disrespect. The names of professional sports teams have mocked Native American phenotypical features and heritage. Today makeshift headdresses or war bonnets are worn by and sold to non-Tribal members and are considered highly offensive to many Native peoples.
Learn more about the culture, way of life, and history of National American Indian & Alaska Native Heritage Month by researching their foods, art forms, music, languages and spiritual beliefs of Native American people
The American Indian in North Carolina by Douglas L. Rights
The Encyclopedia of Native America by Trudy Griffin-Pierce
Footsteps of the Cherokee: A Guide to the Eastern Homelands of the Cherokee Nation by Vicki Rozema
The Native People of Alaska by Steve J. Langdon
National Native News
The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman