New Mexico's INFLUENCE Magazine is kicking off the month of November with the recognition of Native American Heritage Month! For the whole month, we will be posting weekly interesting and new information about Native American culture, people, and beliefs. It's our intention to honor and uplift the Native American people and their many achievements and accomplishments.
Some history for your reading pleasure:
On August 3, 1990, President of the United States George H. W. Bush declared the month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month, thereafter commonly referred to as Native American Heritage Month. The bill read in part that "the President has authorized and requested to call upon Federal, State, and local Governments, groups, and organizations and the people of the United States to observe such month with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities".
This landmark bill honoring America's tribal people represented a major step in the establishment of this celebration which began in 1976, when a Cherokee/Osage Indian named Jerry C. Elliott-High Eagle authored the Native American Awareness Week legislation: the first historical week of recognition in the nation for native peoples. This led to activity in 1986, with then President Ronald Reagan proclaiming November 23–30, 1986, as "American Indian Week".
This commemorative month aims to provide a platform for Native people in the United States of America to share their culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance, and ways and concepts of life. This gives Native people the opportunity to express to their community, city, county, and state officials their concerns and solutions for building bridges of understanding and friendship in their local area. Federal Agencies are encouraged to provide educational programs for their employees regarding Native American history, rights, culture, and contemporary issues, to better assist them in their jobs and for overall awareness.
Meike Schwarz and the Editorial team at New Mexico's INFLUENCE Magazine