Native American Heritage Month

196 American Indian Education, November, 2022

Native American Heritage Month

This month and every month is a time to celebrate and acknowledge the rich and diverse cultures, the traditions and histories and the important contributions of Native people. This month is a time to educate the general public about tribes and to raise awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present.

This is a time to bring awareness to Native American terms, topics and events. In this issue, we are going to discuss the term “American Indian” versus “Native American,” Native American Veterans and local Native American educational event.

Please take time to make space in your building to acknowledge Native American Month this month of November. If you need more information, please contact your building 196 American Indian Education CFA, Francisca, Fonda, Joe or Jorja.

What is the proper terminology: Native American, American Indian or Indigenous?

Native American and American Indian are terms used to refer to peoples living within what is now the United States prior to European contact. The term “American Indian” has a specific legal context because Federal Indian Law, uses this terminology. American Indian is also used by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget through the U.S. Census Bureau.

Indigenous refers to those peoples with pre-existing sovereignty who were living together as a community prior to contact with settler populations. There are Indigenous peoples on every continent throughout the world, such as the First Nations in Canada, Mayas in Mexico and Guatemala, fighting to remain culturally intact on their land bases.

The preference is to refer to the individual’s particular sovereign Tribal nation; for example, “White Earth Nation” and “Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community,” which are the MinnesotaTribal Nations.

Akicita (Dakota language for warrior) Ogichidaa(male)/ Ogichidaakwe(female), (Ojibwe language for warrior)

The Native American warrior tradition continues today as thousands of Natives are serving proudly in the military. Native Veterans are highly regarded within tribal communities for their dedication and commitment to serving in the Armed Services throughout America’s history and up to the present day. For over two centuries, Native Americans have served in the military corps of the United States, there were even times when Native Americans fought its wars without United States citizenship. Indian Citizenship Act was not granted until June 2, 1924, when Congress granted citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States.

Native American Veterans have been a critical part of American history. As many as 20,000 American Indians served in the military during the Civil War. Tribes aligned themselves according to treaties and proper defense of their homelands and held prominent positions on both sides of the conflict. A Cherokee leader, Stand Watie, was a Confederate brigadier general and at one point was given operational control over white troops. Colonel Ely S. Parker, a Seneca Native who was Harvard educated served under the direction of Ulysses S. Grant. Parker wrote the document of surrender between the United States and the Confederate states was later promoted to brigadier general. He was one of two Native Americans to reach the rank of Brigadier General during the Civil War. Later in his career, President Grant appointed him as Commissioner of Indian Affairs, the first Native American to hold that post

In the 2010 Census, it is estimated that over 150,000 veterans identified as American Indian and Alaska Native. The US Department of Defense estimates there are currently over 24,000 active duty Native service members in the US Armed Forces. Veterans Day is the one day a year that Native American communities set aside to honor our military heroes that have fought and died in order to protect the people. Historically, many indigenous tribal nations have complex warrior systems that have existed for thousands of years. Warfare practices, tactics and diplomacy are part of a warrior tradition that is older than the United States military.


Lakota flag song by St. Josephs Indian School Student drum group.

The Warrior Tradition.

Native American Month events

Local events celebrating Native American Month

November-Native American Month at Minneapolis Institute of Art - Celebrate and honor the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, histories, and important contributions of Native people.

Hocokata Ti -Native American Month events. – Celebrate the Dakota

Native American podcasts for Native American Heritage Month.

Native American Calling is a live call-in program linking public radio stations, the internet, and listeners together in a thought-provoking national and international conversation about specific issues impacting Native communities across the United States and Canada.

District 196 American Indian Education Program

If you have any questions regarding information in this month's SMORE, please contact your building American Indian Education CFA's Francisca, Fonda, Joe or Jorja.

Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children..

Sitting Bull (Tatanka Iyotake)

Steven Paul Judd art