Celebrating Native American Heritage Month
November is Native American Heritage Month, a time to honor and celebrate the rich cultural heritage, traditions, diversity, and contributions of Native Americans. It’s an opportunity to recognize their profound impact on American history.
One way to celebrate Native American Heritage Month is by educating yourself. There are many books, documentaries, podcasts, and online resources available that can provide a better understanding of Native American history, cultures, and contemporary issues.
Native American Artists:
- Charly Lowry, from Pembroke, NC, is a true musical force and takes great pride in her Indigenous heritage as a member of the Lumbee/Tuscarora Tribes. Embracing the role of an Activist, Charly’s compassion shines through as she tirelessly advocates for raising awareness on pressing issues faced by underdeveloped and underserved communities. Learn more about Charly here.
- Raven Chacon, from Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation, is an accomplished composer, performer, and installation artist, having been honored with a Pulitzer Prize. Chacon is a composer and artist who creates immersive musical experiences. His innovative and experimental approach transcends the boundaries between visual art, performance, and music, challenging the norms of musical traditions at every turn. Raven uses his craft to create performance spaces that allow people to reflect, question, and reimagine the histories of the lands.
- Wendy Red Star, An Apsáalooke (Crow) artist based in Montana, has gained recognition for her work, which addresses the intersections of Indigenous life on the reservation, traditional culture, and contemporary art. Red Star’s work often delves into themes of Indigenous identity, cultural appropriation, and historical narratives.
Here are a few things we would not have without Native Americans:
- The log cabin: The log cabin was an adaptation of the Indian log or longhouse.
- Canoeing: Native Americans were the creators of the canoe, a versatile watercraft that has been used for transportation and trade for centuries.
- Lacrosse: The sport of lacrosse originated with Native American tribes, who played a version of the game for various purposes, including as a religious ritual and to resolve conflicts.
- Tug-of-war: Native Americans played a similar game to tug-of-war, using a stretched deer hide instead of a rope.
- Agricultural techniques: Native Americans developed and practiced advanced agricultural techniques, including the Three Sisters planting method, which involved growing corn, beans, and squash together in a symbiotic relationship.
- Snow goggles: Native Americans invented snow goggles, which protected their eyes from the glare of sunlight reflecting off snow.
These are just a few examples of the numerous contributions Native Americans have made to various aspects of our society and culture.
Another way to celebrate Native American Heritage Month is to learn about the Native American history of your city. Many cities have important historical sites and landmarks related to Native Americans. By visiting them, you can learn about the contributions of Native Americans to your community.
Jacksonville, FL has a rich Native American history. It is important to take the time to learn about what took place in our city! You can learn more about Jacksonville’s History here.
By educating yourself and learning about Native American history, you can better appreciate the contributions and legacy of Native Americans. Let’s take this opportunity to celebrate and honor Native American Heritage Month!