Declaration of Native American Heritage Month 2021:
In November, National Native American Heritage Month raises awareness of our history, our current struggles and our hope for the future.
Through colonization, Native American cultures, languages, lands and lives have all been systematically and forcefully. The history of indigenous peoples should never be forgotten and that is why it is essential to remember and share our stories not only in November, but also throughout the year.
Beginning in 1990, U.S. Presidents issued executive orders declaring November National Native American Heritage Month. Proclamations called on governments, groups, organizations and individuals across the country to observe the month with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities.
National Native American Heritage Month provides an opportunity for Indigenous peoples to celebrate their diverse and rich cultures and traditions, as well as educate non-Indigenous people about their nations, raise awareness of the unique history of the United States and its peoples. Indigenous peoples, and to recognize the strength and resilience of Indigenous survival. The Special Commemoration is a platform for Native American Indians and Alaska Natives to share their cultures through performing and visual arts, history programs, and food.
In 2021, there has been a positive movement towards greater inclusion of Indigenous people in positions of influence at the federal level. A record six Native Americans were elected to Congress and began serving in 2021; and with the Biden administration came a renewed openness and willingness to include more Indigenous voices in the national conversation. Most importantly, we celebrated the appointment of Deb Haaland (Pueblo of Laguna) as the Native American First Secretary of the US Department of the Interior. Haaland was sworn in to Bryan Newland (Bay Mills Indian Community) as Deputy Secretary on September 8, 2021. In October, President Biden announced the restoration of protection to the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. Bear ears are sacred to many indigenous nations in the region.
Throughout the year, the indigenous peoples of Turtle Island continued to protest against fossil fuel extraction, mining activities, pipelines and other actions that cross fragile territories and threaten the Earth. Mother and indigenous ways of life. Public awareness was heightened through increased media coverage on important issues including Missing and Murdered Indigenous Parents (MMIR) and the mistreatment of Indigenous students who were forced to attend residential schools.
Generations of Native Americans have been persecuted by European settlers, resulting in historic trauma and high rates of domestic and sexual violence. Domestic violence is not a Native American tradition; it was introduced by colonization. Today, there is ample evidence that colonization still occurs through the inhumane conditions on reserves and jurisdictional issues that prevent the prosecution of non-indigenous perpetrators on tribal lands.
“It is important that we always remember to honor the resilience, love and strength of our ancestors who brought us to this point in time and to our Elders and all of our loved ones who continue to be brave and determined to practice our sacred traditions through song and prayer, âsaid Lori Jump, director of the StrongHearts Aboriginal Helpline (Sault Ste. Marie tribe of Chippewa Indians).
Observing National Native American Heritage Month is a recognition that Indigenous peoples live and are increasingly resilient despite historical trauma and continued oppression. Native Americans and Alaska Natives continue to create solutions and programs to solve their unique problems. Thanks to StrongHearts Native Helpline, Native Americans who have experienced domestic violence, dating and sexual violence can now receive culturally appropriate support. When our loved ones are in pain, we are there to answer the call.
âNational Native American Heritage Month gives us the opportunity to reflect on the common existence of our peoples on this continent and to share our accomplishments as well as our ongoing challenges – this includes the need to address violence in our communities and to raise awareness of the work that needs to be done to eradicate it, âsays Jump. âWith the collective strength of all of our loved ones, we can work on our vision of safety for our loved ones and restoration of sanctity in communities free from violence. “