Native American Heritage Month

People who worked to get a national Native American Day would be happy to find that there is a Native American Heritage Month. One of the first individuals that desired to recognize the Native Americans was Dr. Arthur C. Parker. He was a Seneca Indian and the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y. He convinced the Boy Scouts to adopt "First Americans" day and they honored it for three years. The first state to declare American Indian Day was New York in 1916.

President George H.W. Bush approved National American Heritage Month for the month of November in 1990. It is important that American Indians are honored for their place in history. Native Americans number around 2.4 million of America's population. The 1990 census report that the Cherokee Indian Nation comprised 369,035. The Navajo totaled 224, 298 followed by the Sioux, Chippewa, Choctaw, Pueblo, Apache, Iroquois, and Lumbee.

Some of the Indians studied and talked about during Native American Heritage month are Sherman Alexie, Paula Gunn Allen, Dennis Banks, Adam Beach, Elias Boudinot, Joseph Brants, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Billy Bowlegs, Black Elk, Black Hawk, Black Kettle, Captain Jack, Cochise, Cornplanter, Crazy Horse, Charles Curtis, Geronimo, Hiawatha, Pontiac, Pope, Powhatan, Red Cloud, Red Jacket, John Ross, Sacajawea, Samoset, Seattle, Sequoyah, Sitting Bull, Squanto and Uncas.

There are hundreds of American Indian tribes. It would be impossible to list them all in this article. Many people choose to research and learn more about the tribes that lived in their region. People generally gravitate toward a tribe or two and spend their time studying about them. However, to get a clearer understanding of Native Americans it is recommended that you study various tribes. Try to learn about their housing, customs, way of life and religion. Here is a list of some of the popular and lesser known American Indian tribes that you can learn more about during Native American Heritage month.

Algonquin (Algonkin), Arapaho, Blackfoot (Blackfeet), Catawba, Chappaquiddick (Chappaquiddic, Chappiquidic), Cherokee, Cheyenne (Cheyanne), Chickamaugan, Chickasaw (Chikasha), Chippewa, Choctaw, Comanche, Comcaac, Creek, Crow, Cruzeño, Dakota, Delaware, Eskimo (Esquimaux), Hawaiian, Iroquois Confederacy, Massasoit (Massassoit, Mashpee), Mohave, Mohawk, Mohican, Muskogee, Navajo (Navaho), New Blackfoot, Northern Cheyenne, Nottoway, Ojibwa (Ojibway, Ojibwe, Ojibwemowin), Old Blackfoot, Omaha-Ponca, Oneida, Porcupine Indians, Potawatomi (Potowatomi, Pottawatomie, Potawatomie), Powhatan (Powhattan, Powhaten, Powatan), Pueblo, Red Indians, Restigouche, Sahaptin, Salhulhtxw, Salinan, , San Felipe, San Juan, Savannah, Sauk, Seminoles, Seneca, Seri, Serrano, Shasta (Shastika, Shastan), Shawnee (Shawano), Shinnecock, Shoshone (Shoshoni), Shuar, Shuswap, Sierra Chontal, Siksika (Siksikawa), Similkameen, Sinkiuse (Sincayuse), Sinkyone, Sioux, Spokane (Spokan), Squamish, Stockbridge, Swampy Cree, Tillamook, Tunica, Wampano, Wampanoag, White Clay People, Wichita (Witchita), Winnebago, Yaqui, Yinka Dene, Yneseño (Ynezeño), Yocot'an, Yokaya (Yokaia, Yakaya), Yokuts (Yokut, Yokutsan), Yoncalla (Yonkalla), Yowlumni, Ysleño, Ysleta del Sur, Yucatec Maya (Yucateco, Yucatan), Yuchi (Yuchee) Yuhaviatam, Yukaliwa, Yuki (Yukian), Yuma, Yurok (Yu'rok) Zapotec (Zapoteco), Zia, Zimshian, Zoque, Zuni.

Joseph Paige © 2006

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