November is Native American Heritage Month

There are over 5.2 million Native American people and 566 federally recognized tribal nations in the United States, according to the 2010 Census. In the month of November, the Federal Government has sponsored a celebration of modern and traditional cultures. This event also provides an opportunity to examine the important contributions of Native Americans and to explore the historical and modern relationships between tribal nations.

Blackfeet Red Fox James rode from state to state on horseback in 1915, trying to get an official national day of recognition for Native Americans. Eventually, he got the support of 24 state governments, and he presented this to the White House. It was not until 1990 that his goal was achieved, but we honor his efforts during this month that he worked so hard to achieve. Here is an article from the New York Times in 1916 about his efforts, and an early holiday celebrating Natives.

We're happy for the opportunity that Native American Heritage Month provides to encourage both Natives and Non-Natives to learn more about Native Americans, Tribal Nations and the cultures, traditions, history and modern expressions of Native people. We're hoping to use the month to continue to highlight the amazing work of Native artists and to continue bringing the richness of contemporary Native American art from around North America to our visitors. - The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans.