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Photo Credit: Native American South Carolina Archives (NASCA)
Celebrate Native American Heritage Every Month
For Native Americans, October and November can be busy and emotionally taxing months as these are when Columbus / Indigenous Peoples Day and Halloween (where so many still decide to use Native American culture as a costume) are held. Native American Heritage Month begins the day after Halloween and is essentially wrapped up by Thanksgiving (another culturally complicated holiday). Additionally, all of this takes place against the backdrop of football season, which means Native American mascots and the ongoing tension related to them.
While, like all cultures, Native American history is filled with pain, frustration and mourning, it is also a time of celebration, reflection, and education. It is important to remember that issues facing contemporary American Indians do not disappear once November ends. As such, do not let November be the only time of year that our nation’s first inhabitants and stewards of this land are remembered. We must celebrate Native American cultures and heritages in November and every other month of the year!
Here are some resources we found to help you celebrate Native American heritage and resilience in November and every other month of the year:
You can find all of the websites and contact information for State Recognized entities here: https://cma.sc.gov/minority-population-initiatives/native-american-affairs/south-carolinas-recognized-native-american-indian-entities
Be sure to check the Native American Studies Center at the University of South Carolina, Lancaster: https://sc.edu/about/system_and_campuses/lancaster/study/student_opportunities/native_american_studies_center/index.php
The Commission for Minority Affairs also has various resources and upcoming events listed: https://cma.sc.gov/our-events
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian has information and virtual events: https://americanindian.si.edu/
The National Congress of American Indians: https://www.ncai.org/
The Native Learning Center offers free webinars and other learning opportunities: https://www.nativelearningcenter.com/
The My Tribal Area data tool allows easy access to select demographic and economic statistics for each of the nation’s tribal areas. This data comes from the 2011-2015 American Community Survey, and include statistics on population, jobs, housing, economy, and education.
My Tribal Area provides comprehensive maps, data profiles and downloadable features for each tribal area.