November is a special month in America– Native American Heritage Month!
This is a time to honor and recognize the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and contributions of Native Americans to our society. It's a chance to learn, celebrate, and show our respect. And you don’t have to be Native to celebrate! You can participate in numerous ways and make this month meaningful, regardless of your heritage.
Keep scrolling to learn multiple ways Natives and non-Natives can celebrate Native American Heritage Month.
How can Natives participate in this month?
Share your stories and traditions
The art of storytelling is deeply ingrained in the Native culture. One of the most powerful ways to celebrate your Native heritage is by sharing your stories, traditions, and experiences. This can be done through social media, blogs, or even in-person events. By opening up and educating others, you help promote understanding and appreciation of your culture.
In addition, share and interact with other stories on social media. When you like, comment, and share posts on social media you are helping spread the word and elevate those stories.
Attend Native American events
Look for events happening in your local area during Native American Heritage Month. Pow Wows, cultural festivals, and art exhibitions are often held to celebrate Native American culture. Attending these events is a great way to connect with your heritage and meet others who share it. If you can’t attend an event in person, there are digital events listed on various websites that promote Native American Heritage Month.
Check out the Native American Heritage Month website for online events such as Reclaiming the Stage, Native Cinema Showcase, and Native Voices.
Engage in community outreach
Volunteering your time and skills in your Native American community, or someone else's, can be incredibly rewarding. Whether it's helping with youth programs, cultural preservation efforts, or community events, your contribution can positively impact other Native people.
Need some ideas? Here is a list of organizations to get involved in.
Take the opportunity to educate your friends, family, and colleagues about Native American history, issues, and achievements. Sometimes, people simply lack awareness; your knowledge can help get rid of myths and stereotypes. This can be done simply through conversation but also through art, theater, social media, activism, etc.
Celebrate through food
Dig into some of your favorite Native dishes. Whether it's the crispy delight of Navajo fry bread or the comforting warmth of a plate of bison pot roast, celebrating culinary traditions is a flavorful way to honor your heritage and foster cultural appreciation.
Check out our favorite Native recipes.
How can non-Natives participate in this month?
Learn about Native History
Start by educating yourself about the history and culture of Native Americans. Read books, watch documentaries, and seek out reputable online resources. Understanding the past is crucial to appreciating the present.
Teach others about Native History
If any teachers are reading this, then you understand the importance of educating your students with texts, videos, and podcasts from different cultural perspectives. Textbooks can be whitewashed, and some resources can be biased, so be careful when choosing resources. Read literature, poetry, and essays written by Native American authors. Their voices offer unique perspectives and insights into their cultures and experiences. Some great authors to start with include Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, Tommy Orange, and Leslie Marmon Silko.
Engage in dialogue
Don't be afraid to engage in respectful conversations about Native American issues and history. Ask questions, listen actively, and be open to different perspectives. This dialogue can help break down barriers and foster understanding. Communication is the number one way to get people from all backgrounds to open up and foster empathy, understanding, and respect for one another.
Attend cultural events
Many Native American communities organize events this month that are open to everyone. Attend powwows, traditional dances, storytelling sessions, or art exhibitions. These experiences can provide a glimpse into the beauty and richness of Native cultures.
If you’re interested in experiencing a powwow, search our user-friendly powwow calendar.
Support Native artists and businesses
Buy Native! Many Native American artists and entrepreneurs create beautiful, handcrafted items such as jewelry, pottery, and artwork. Support these artisans by purchasing their products. Not only does this help them financially, but it also showcases the incredible talent within Native communities. You can purchase items at events, such as a powwow, or visit our Shop Native directory.
Support Native causes
There are numerous organizations and initiatives dedicated to supporting Native American communities. Consider donating to a reputable charity, participating in fundraisers, or supporting Native-owned businesses. Your contribution can make a real difference.
Respect Tribal Sovereignty
Recognize and respect the sovereignty of Native American tribes. This includes acknowledging their right to self-governance, land, and resources. Be mindful of land rights and environmental concerns that impact Native communities.
Advocate for Change
If you encounter discrimination or injustice against Native Americans, speak up and advocate for change. Support policies and initiatives that promote equity and justice for Native communities.
Overall, Native American Heritage Month is an opportunity for all Americans to come together, learn, and celebrate Native cultures.
Whether you're Native or non-Native, your participation and support can contribute to greater awareness, respect, and appreciation for the Indigenous peoples of this land. So, let's embrace this month with open hearts, open minds, and a commitment to building a more inclusive and harmonious society.