As we come upon the Thanksgiving holiday I have to ask why do we celebrate National Native American Heritage Month in November? I watched This is America Charlie Brown, The Mayflower Voyagers and have to admit it was cute and entertaining, but also kinda ick.
Now I use a bit of sarcasm when I explain to my non Native friends that I did not think “they” (whoever “they” are) should relegate to “us” Ndns when National Native American Heritage Month should be celebrated, however I am also glad we get the opportunity to share our heritage with the non Native community. And although I might use sarcasm, my sentiment centers around being impressed when I hear non Native teachers promoting education awareness about Native people in their classrooms. For teachers, especially non Native teachers, the opportunity to teach about who Native people really are is a practice that we as Native people appreciate. When I see and/or read about what people are doing throughout Native Heritage Month, I am glad to say it is a good feeling. Especially when I read about historical inaccuracies being retold with more accuracy.
So this Thanksgiving I want to say Thank you in the languages I have learned for promoting awareness and celebrating National Native American Heritage Month at the local, regional, and national levels whether it is at a school, college/university, major event, or online, celebrating Native Heritage is important, EVEN if it is only for a month, use this time to educate the non Native community about who Native people are.
With that I’ll enclose and say, A’hee’eh, Imee’qis Qeci’yew’yew, Miig’wech, and Muchos Gracias.