Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Bellingham Public Schools | November 2020

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Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month, established as a full month in 1990.

During November, and all other months, we honor and acknowledge the contributions, wisdom, and experiences of Indigenous peoples historically and today. Bellingham Public Schools' students represent over 20 tribal ancestries, including Alaskan Native, Colville, Cowlitz, Jamestown, Lummi, Makah, Nisqually, Nooksack, Port Gamble S'Klallam, Puyallup, Quileute, Quinault, Samish, Sauk-Suiattle, Skokomish, Squaxin Island, Stillaguamish, Suquamish, Swinomish, Tulalip, Upper Skagit, Yakama, and more.

If your Indigenous/First Nations ancestry isn't listed here, please contact us so we can update our representation.

To explore a rich history foundational to our society, consider learning about the

  • Treaty of Point Elliott. Signed on Jan. 22, 1855, by Isaac Stevens (1818-1862), Governor of Washington Territory, and by Duwamish Chief Seattle, Snoqualmie Chief Patkanim, Lummi Chief Chow-its-hoot, and other chiefs, subchiefs, and delegates of tribes, bands, and villages, the Treaty of Point Elliott removed Indigenous peoples from the majority of their ancestral lands in exchange for fishing, hunting, and gathering rights.
  • Listen to the Young and Indigenous Podcast. Children of the Setting Sun Productions specializes in Coast Salish storytelling.
  • Land you are on. Native-land.ca provides an interactive map to help us connect with the sacred land we reside on.

Today, Nov. 10 at 7:00 pm, Professor Josh Cerretti will provide a virtual tour of Bellingham that "highlight[s] the perspectives of people who were marginalized and excluded from official histories and the city itself." Register here.

On Nov. 19 from 8-8:30 am, join the National Museum of American History for an online exploration into key social studies topics, featuring museum resources from the Smithsonian. This episode will focus on Native American Heritage Month.

Image of hand holding sign that says Trans Rights are Human Rights

Nov. 13-19, 2020: Transgender Awareness Week

The week before Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20, people and organizations around the country participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise the visibility of transgender people and address issues members of the community face.

2020 has already seen 34+ acts of violence towards our transgender or gender non-conforming community, dominantly targeting Black and Latinx trans women.



Nov. 19: Ingersoll Gender Center's Free Employer Training: Trans Cultural Competency

Nov. 19: Gay City: Seattle's LGBTQ Center: Intergenerational Voices: A TGNC Panel

Nov 20: Honor and remember lives lost to anti-trans violence.

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November Celebrations and Remembrances

  • All Saints Day. On Nov. 1, the Catholic Church (and some Protestant churches) commemorate every saint, known and unknown.
  • Dia de los Muertos. On Nov. 1 and 2, families celebrated the lives and deaths of their loved ones with joy, love, and respect. Ofrendas provide offerings such as water, food, photos, toys, and candles. Marigolds decorate the altars and marigold petals are used to guide wandering souls back to their place of rest.
  • Veterans Day. Annually, Veteran's Day is held on Nov. 11, the anniversary of the end of World War I. The federal holiday honors military veterans for their honorable service. Consider emphasizing Black, Indigenous, and all veterans of color this year.
  • Diwali. The Indian festival of lights will be celebrated on Nov. 14, symbolizing the spiritual "victory of light over darkness."
  • Transgender Day of Remembrance. On Friday, Nov. 20, we honor the memory of transgender people whose lives were lost to acts of anti-transgender violence.
  • Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving occurs on Thursday, Nov. 26.
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Calendar dates

Nov. 11: No school on Veteran's Day. The District Office and all schools are closed.

Nov. 25: All schools early dismissal.

Nov. 26 and 27: No school for the Thanksgiving holiday.

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