Thursday, November 6, 2008

National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

Dr. Arthur C. Parker, the Director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, New York and a Seneca Indian petitioned the Boy Scouts of America to set aside a day in honor of Native Americans. Through the early 20th Century Native Americans petitioned for an official day of recognition. On December 14, 1915 Red Fox James, A Blackfeet Indian presented the White House with a petition that contained the endorsement of 24 states. By 1919 several states had enacted days of celebration in recognition of Native Americans. To date there is no national holiday in recognition of Native Americans, however several states recognize Columbus Day as Native American Day.

Under President George H.W. Bush November 1990 was proclaimed “National American Indian Heritage Month”, and has continued similarly since 1994. According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month is celebrated to recognize the intertribal cultures and to educate the public about the heritage, history, art, and traditions of the American Indian and Alaska Native people.”

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Indian Health Service. http://www.ihs.gov/PublicAffairs/Heritage/Heritage_History.cfm

Sites of Interest:

National American Indian Heritage Month, 2008: A Proclamation by the President of the

United States of America - http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/10/20081030-3.html

The Library of Congress - http://www.loc.gov/topics/nativeamericans/index.html

Native Literature Directory-
http://www.indians.org/Resource/natlit/natlit.html

Alaskan Native Knowledge Network-
http://www.ankn.uaf.edu/

Surrounded by Beauty: Arts of Native America-
http://www.artsmia.org/surrounded-by-beauty/index.html

Native American Nations
http://www.nativeculture.com/lisamitten/nations.html

The National Register of Historic Places - http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/feature/indian/

The National Endowment for the Humanities - http://edsitement.neh.gov/monthly_feature.asp

The Smithsonian Institute - http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/educators/resource_library/american_indian_resources.html

The Texas Historical Commission - http://www.thc.state.tx.us/news/whatsnewstories/wnnamnth.shtml

Bureau of Indian Affairs - http://www.doi.gov/bia/index.html

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