November is Native American Heritage Month, which this year will be an online celebration of the contribution Native Americans have made, and continue to make.
From art and jewelry, to the conservation of land and animals, the language we use today and the food we eat – the contributions of Native American influences are all around us.
Each year, that contribution is celebrated through a variety of events, forming part of the now well-established Native American Heritage Month. This year, many of the physical events have been cancelled or moved to become virtual events, as a result of the pandemic.
Despite that, this year’s celebrations will still see a host of virtual webinars and other online events taking place – all of which will recognize the important contribution of Native people to American culture and celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories of Native people.
The month of activities is also an opportunity to educate people about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.
- Conversation with “Why We Serve” Co-Author Alexandra Harris
Alexandra Harris, co-author of ‘Why We Serve: Native Americans in the United States Armed Forces,’ discusses identity and the warrior stereotype of Native people serving in the military, as well as actual—and remarkable—traditions of peace and war within American Indian communities.
- Native Communities and the Vote: Teaching about American Indian Voting Rights through Documents
Learn how to incorporate primary sources related to American Indian voting rights into lessons. The webinar will share activities and resources from the National Archives, and explore how to include discussions of evolving rights over time as relating to Native Communities and the right to participate in federal elections.
- Native Cinema Showcase
The National Museum of the American Indian’s Native Cinema Showcase is an annual celebration of the best in Native film. This year, for the 20th-anniversary showcase, the museum presents the full program online, streaming new films, fan-favorite classics, and conversations with filmmakers.
- Smithsonian Social Studies Online: Native American Heritage Month
Join the National Museum of American History for an online exploration into key social studies topics, featuring museum resources from the Smithsonian. This episode will focus on Native American Heritage Month.
- Youth in Action: Conversations about Our Future—Indigenous Food Sovereignty
Today, many young people are returning to traditional food sources and sustainable ways of living through political action and sustainable practice. This session will showcase a conversation with young Native foodies working to decolonize their diets and restore balance in their bodies and communities.
All of these events and activities are an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the powerful influence Native Americans have had on our culture – and how they continue to shape the way we move forward.
More information on how to access these webinars, as well as the host of other online activities taking place as part of Native American Heritage Month, can be found here.
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