Celebrate Native American Heritage Month

By Veronica Clark, PTAC specialist, CIS
November is a month of giving and thanks. This November, I encourage you to pause to commemorate the ancestry and contributions of Native Americans. Most of us are familiar with Pocahontas. However, there is much more to the Native American history. We must continue to dispel the myths and seek the truth about cultures that differ from our own.
Through telling the stories of John Bennett Herrington (first Native American in space) and Keith Harper (first American Indian ambassador), we can do just that.
About Native American Heritage Month
In 1915, Red Fox James, a Blackfeet Indian, started his crusade for the federal government to establish a day to honor Indians.  Despite his efforts, this did not occur until many years later in 1983 when President Ronald Regan proclaimed May 13 as American Indian Day. It would be seven more years before President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional resolution designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month. Over time, the name has evolved to National Native American Heritage Month.
How to Observe
There are many ways that you and your family can observe National Native American Heritage Month.  Here are a few recommendations:
1)      Immerse yourself in the culture of Native Americans
a.      Checkout this online exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indianhttps://americanindian.si.edu/americans/#gallery
2)      Try a traditional Native American dish
3)      Attend a local event (see below example)
a.      Spirit of the Veteran and Warrior
Intertribal Native American Festival
November 10 and 11, 2018
City Point Park
Hwy 27, Dayton, TN
Gates open: Saturday, 9am to 7pm EST
Sunday, 9am, to 5pm EST
Admission $5, children under 10 FREE
Our veterans, police, firefighters, EMTs, and teachers FREE with ID!.
 Knowledge is power!  Continue to step out of your comfort zone and learn about cultures that differ from your own. Keeping in mind that we are more alike than different.