- This event has passed.
National Native American Heritage Day
Dr. Arthur C. Parker of the Seneca nation first protested for National Native American Heritage Day between 1912 and 1915. At first, he was fighting for an “American Indian Day” to be recognized within the Boy Scouts of America. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed into law the legislation introduced by Congressman Joe Baca, to designate the day after Thanksgiving as American Indian Heritage Day. The law was established on November 28 as a day to pay respects to the Native Americans for their numerous contributions to the United States. The American Indian Heritage Day was supported by the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) and 184 federally recognized tribes.
The Native American Heritage Day encourages Americans of all backgrounds to appreciate the indigenous cultures appropriately, with ceremonies and activities. Schools are also encouraged to enhance their students’ awareness of Native Americans by providing classroom activities focused on their history, contributions, and achievements.
The United States House of Representatives initially passed the Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009, with technical adjustments made by a collective consent in the United States Senate. The House of Representatives unanimously voted to pass the legislation again, including the Senate’s adjustments. The legislation was then signed into public law by President Barack Obama on October 30, 2009.
Native American Heritage Day and Month is a huge platform for Indigenous people to educate society about their communities. On this day, more than ever, they lead the discourse on culture, celebrate their heritage by donning traditional footwear (“rocking the moccasin”), and shed some light on the diverse tribal communities.