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Celebrate the beauty and resilience of Native culture during Native American Heritage Month
What is Native American Heritage Month?
November is Native American Heritage Month, a time to honor and recognize the Indigenous peoples of this land. The celebration of Native cultures began as a week-long celebration in 1986, when President Reagan proclaimed the week of November 23-30, 1986, as "American Indian Week." Every President since 1995 has issued annual proclamations designating the month of November as the time to celebrate the cultures, accomplishments, and contributions of Native American and Alaska Native communities.
- 2023 Washington State Native American Heritage Month proclamation
- 2023 Native American Heritage Month presidential proclamation
The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people.
Why is it important?
Throughout our history, Native Americans have been an important part of the foundations of Washington State and the nation, both economically and socially. The Tribes and Indian Health Care Providers (IHCPs) in our state are the health authorities for their communities. In many regions they serve the entire community, Natives and non-Natives, using strength-based approaches grounded in culturally attuned services.
Yet, they have often been overlooked, stereotyped, marginalized, dismissed, or misunderstood.
Native communities have generations of knowledge that can strengthen health care practices. At HCA, we are grateful for the opportunity to listen and learn from our Tribal partners.
How to celebrate
Heritage Month is an excellent time to honor Indigenous Peoples’ brilliance, acknowledge truth in history, recognize whose land we are on, and work towards true allyship. For inspiration on how you can celebrate, check out our article from last year.
You can start the process of becoming an informed ally today by conducting your own research and learning about Native culture and history. Below is a curated list of educational materials, webinars, and event opportunities to help get you started.
Online events, webinars, and workshops
- National Indian Educational Association resources
- Smithsonian Native American Heritage Month events page
- National Museum of the American Indian events page
Documentaries, movies, and media
Native art and museum exhibitions
- Luminosity: Northwest Native Glass Art | Stonington Gallery
- Steinbrueck Native Gallery | Art of the Northwest Coast First Nations peoples
- Why we serve - Native American’s and the United Stated Armed Forces
- Native and Indigenous Art | Smithsonian American Art Museum
- Native knowledge 360° | National Museum of the American Indian
- Indigenous Voices | Smithsonian
Books, blogs, and articles
- Twelve Women to Know for Native American Heritage Month
- Wearing Red Shawls to Bring Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples
- The Struggle for Sovereignty
- Salish Bounty - Traditional Native Foods of Puget Sound
- Coast Salish people & languages
- List of NW Tribal governments, museums and cultural centers | Burke museum