In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under varying names , including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”, have been issued each year since 1994. To help you honor this holiday, we’ve put together a list of 5 ways to celebrate.
1. Make an American Indian Recipe
One of the best ways to learn about a culture is through food. There are endless options when it comes to American Indian recipes, but here are a few that had our team excited to get in the kitchen:
2. Discover the Diversity of American Indian Cultures
There are hundreds of tribes across the continent, but most people can’t name more than a few, and even less are represented in the popular culture. Native American Heritage Month is a great opportunity to research your local history and discover which tribes called the land you now live on home.
3. Read a Book About American Indian History
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown eloquently documents the destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the nineteenth century. The New York Times called the book “Original, remarkable, and finally heartbreaking…Impossible to put down.”
You can find a full list of recommendations at Goodreads.
4. Visit an American Indian Heritage Site
Much of the US is scattered with beautiful and significant American Indian landmarks. From burial mounds to ruins to museums, there are thousands of locations to to experience Native America. In Cincinnati, where the editors of Family Tree Magazine are based, perhaps the most famous location is Serpent Mound. If you’re looking for a great way to educate your family and yourself, take some time to locate a landmark near you and spend a day learning about American Indian history.
5. Improve Your Understanding
With over 500 various tribes and nations, where do you even begin to research? We offer a variety of free resources on our site to begin your research journey. A good place to start is investigating any stories that may have been passed down in you family and familiarizing yourself with the challenges of researching American Indian roots.