November 27th, Native American Heritage Day
The month of November is more than Thanksgiving. It's also Native American Heritage Month, a time designated to honor and recognize the contributions Indigenous people have made to the United States.
"Our resilience and our strength as the first peoples of this land should be celebrated every day," said IllumiNative founder Crystal Echo Hawk.
"As Indigenous peoples, we stand in our power every day. We continue to pass down traditions through ceremony, protect the wellness and health of our communities, and fight for clean air and water," she said.
Native American Heritage Month provides a national platform for Indigenous people to shed light on their communities by leading discussions about culture and tradition, educating the public about tribal communities or celebrating culture by wearing traditional footwear for a week.
"The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people," according to the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).
"Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public 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."
On Monday, Gov. Doug Ducey released a proclamation, first signed on Oct. 16, recognizing November as Native American Heritage Month in Arizona.
“Native American communities play a critical role in the growth and prosperity of our state,” Ducey said in a news release. “Arizona is enriched by the many diverse contributions from people all across our state, and this month, we are proud to celebrate the Native American community’s vibrant heritage, civic leadership, and history of service to our state and nation."
Arizona is home to 22 tribes, and tribal land makes up approximately 28% of the state’s land base, according to the governor's office.
- Beth Barth