Native American Heritage Month
November is Native American Heritage Month and is intended to be a celebration of the divers, and rich cultures, traditions, and histories among Native Americans and Alaska Natives.
I would encourage each of you to discover on whose land you live. You can go to the website native-land.ca to see a map of your area and what nations, languages and treaties are associated with that area and any local celebrations or educational opportunities are available.
I understand that it is a painful irony that American’s Thanksgiving is in Native American Heritage month, given that Natives consider it a day of mourning. This is because the first Thanksgiving celebration was held by the colonists after they massacred an entire Pequot village.
I believe it is important to understand the historical and current harm that colonialism and the US government continue to perpetuate on Native Americans. If we forget our past, we are doomed to repeat it, and continue the generational trauma.
If you are unaware of the discoveries of graves and remains of children at various Indian boarding schools over the last year or so, I encourage you to learn more. It is important as this is not ancient history, and the Supreme Court in Haaland v. Brackeen is hearing a case intended to weaken the Indian Child Welfare Act that was created to keep Native children with Native families.
Here are some things you can do this month to honor Native American Heritage:
- Learn on whose land you live
- Support Native owned businesses
- Learn what Indigenous activists are doing in your area and how you can support them
Diversify your social media feed and include Native voices