and information regarding
is National American Indian Heritage Month.
Source: U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs
Dr. Arthur C. Parker
What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose.
Early Proponents: One of the very proponents of an American Indian Day was Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, who was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y. He persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to set aside a day for the "First Americans" and for three years they adopted such a day. In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting in Lawrence, Kans., formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day.
It directed its president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapahoe, to call upon the country to observe such a day. Coolidge issued a proclamation on Sept. 28, 1915, which declared the second Saturday of each May as an American Indian Day and contained the first formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens.
The year before this proclamation was issued, Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Indians. On December 14, 1915, he presented the endorsements of 24 state governments at the White House. There is no record, however, of such a national day being proclaimed.
State Celebrations: The first American Indian Day in a state was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of N.Y. Several states celebrate the fourth Friday in September. In Illinois, for example, legislators enacted such a day in 1919. Presently, several states have designated Columbus Day as Native American Day, but it continues to be a day we observe without any recognition as a national legal holiday.
Months: In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution
designating November 1990 "National American Indian Heritage Month."
Similar proclamations have been issued each year since 1994.The theme
for 2005 is: "Respecting
Tradition, Embracing a Healthy Future"
for American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE) is a national non-profit
organization that serves the needs of American Indian (AI), and Alaska
Native (AN), federal employees, promoting the recruitment, hiring, retention,
development, and advancement of American Indians and Alaska Natives in
the government workforce. SAIGE's 2006 conference will be held in Anchorage,
National Museum of the American Indian
Indian website - Phil Konstantin has a website with lots of links--especially
to books on American Indians. We regularly send out Phil's newsletter
when we receive it.
National Park Service has historical information in The National Register
of Historic Places which promotes awareness of and appreciation for the
history and culture of American Indians and Alaska Natives during National
American Indian Heritage Month. This month is dedicated to recognizing
the intertribal cultures, the events and life ways, the designs and achievements
of American Indians and Alaska Natives. As part of the observance, this
site showcases historic properties listed in the National Register, National
Register publications, and National Park units.
The Diversity Store has posters
for special observances. Their posters for Amerian Indian Heritage have
several different themes.
West - This site has sections on General Native American Resources,
Education, Leaders of the Past, Messages & Personal Home Pages, Native
American Nations Homepages, Images, Organizations & Government Resources,
Ghosts from the Past, Native Peoples' Web Ring, Native Languages, and
a listing of federally
recognized American Indian Tribes and a listing of Native entities within
the state of Alaska (there are 227 of them!), go to:
of American Indian Affairs is an 80-year-old organization with offices
in Maryland and South Dakota, with an active cultural preservation program.
AAIA was an integral part of the advocacy effort that led to the enactment
of NAGPRA, has facilitated repatriation of almost 2,000 human remains
to the Dakota people, plays a leading role in sacred sites preservation,
and operates a small Dakota language program in South Dakota. AAIA's other
programs focus on tribal sovereignty, sacred lands protection, youth,
scholarships, and health.
American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES) is a national,
nonprofit organization which nurtures building of community by bridging
science and technology with traditional Native values. Through its educational
programs, AISES provides opportunities for American Indians and Native
Alaskans to pursue studies in science, engineering, and technology arenas.
The trained professionals then become technologically informed leaders
within the Indian community. AISES' ultimate goal is to be a catalyst
for the advancement of American Indians and Native Alaskans as they seek
to become self-reliant and self-determined members of society.
Activities to Celebrate Native American Heritage!
is National American Indian Heritage Month. This week, Education
World offers 12 lessons to help students learn about Native American
history and cultures. Included: Activities that involve students in dramatizing
folktales, learning new words, preparing traditional foods, and much more!
More general websites about American Indian Programs:
Museum of the American Indian
about treaties with American Indian Tribes
about American Indian related information
up dates in North American Indian history. Links to numerous other
web sites dealing with Tribal Peoples.
to American Indian Tribe. This website is intended to give
you a head-start in your research on the historical background of many
American Indian tribes. It presents an overview of available resources
as well as short histories of the tribes.
national aboriginal news source.
website for the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.
of "Indian Country" magazine. Current news articles about
tribes, laws and lifeways.
news of current events affecting American Indians and mainstream USA.
of American Indian Arts. Established by the U.S. Department of the
Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1962. In 1975 it became a 2-year
college in Santa Fe, NM.
Peoples magazine's mission has been and will continue to be, the
sensitive portrayal of the Native peoples of the Americas.
Indian Craft Shop at Department of Interior Building at Washington,
DC. The site mentions other places to visit in the building.
of links, American Indian Quotes, History, Indian Loan Words, Indian Wars,
Language, Music, Church
American Indian Heritage Month: Righting Wrongs Includes an insightful
article on the use of native names for sports teams.
Americans in the Military
American History and Culture - lots of links to a variety of issues
related to native peoples
complete listing of Federally recognized tribes, state by state
great source of posters
Indian Employee & Student Associations:
of terms in Indian Country:
The "STAR - Students and Teachers Against
Racism" web site is the