Native American Heritage Month Calendar of Events
November is Native American Heritage Month. The month is an opportunity to spread awareness of Indigenous history and contemporary Native issues and to highlight Native Americans who enrich our culture.
Native American Heritage Month is the culmination of a centuries-long effort to establish recognition for the substantial contributions of Indigenous peoples.
Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Cattaraugus Seneca Indian, historian, anthropologist and author from New York state, was an early proponent of establishing a day to honor Native Americans. Parker founded several impactful American Indian rights organizations, such as the Society of American Indians in 1911 and the National Congress of American Indians in 1944 — and advocated for American Indians to be given U.S. citizenship. Parker persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to designate a day to celebrate the “First Americans” from 1912-1915.
In 1914, Native rights advocate Reverend Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Tribe citizen, embarked on a 4,000-mile trek on horseback to Washington, D.C., to petition the president for an “Indian Day.” He presented the endorsements of 24 governors to the White House, and again in 1919, he petitioned the state of Washington to designate the fourth Saturday in September as an “Indian holiday.”
Calvin Coolidge issued a proclamation Sept. 28, 1915 that declared the second Saturday of each May as an American Indian Day and contained the first formal appeal to recognize Indians as citizens.
Decades later, in 1976, Jerry C. Elliott (Osage-Cherokee) — one of the first Native Americans to work at NASA — authored the Congressional legislation for the first Native American Awareness Week, Oct. 10-16.
In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional resolution designating the month of November “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Proclamations have been issued each year since 1994.
Indigenous showcase Nov. 2
Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival will play Indigenous films at Theatrikos Theatre Company, 11 West Cherry Ave. in Flagstaff. Doors open at 6 p.m. Event from 6:30-9:30 p.m. $10.
Culture & Community Health Fair
NACA is hosting a health fair Nov. 3 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Puente de Hozho school. contact Mfarley@nacainco.org for more information.
More Than a Meal panel discussion Nov. 5
This panel discussion will focus on the appropriation of Indigenous crops and foods and the impacts of colonization on food sovereignty and Indigenous foodways, as well as spotlight current trends in Indigenous foodways. This discussion will be moderated by Dr. Kelley Hays-Gilpin. Panelists: Chef Brett Vibber, Chef Jaren Bates, Andi Murphy. Museum of Northern Arizona, 3101 N. Fort Valley Road, Flagstaff, 2-3 p.m. Free with museum admission.
Rock Your Mocs Week Nov. 12-18
NACA will be sponsoring its annual Rock Your Mocs Week, encouraging everyone to celebrate their traditional attire. More information is available by visiting www.facebook.com/NACAFlagstaff. There will be a virtual 2k/5k walk or run this year. Contact NACA Wellness Center at (928) 773-1245 ext. 221.
From Beauty is the Land writing workshop Nov. 18
Join us for an interactive writing workshop about the past, present, and future of Dinétah, with poet and artist Amber McCrary and creative writing professor Shaina Nez. We will explore how writing can help us understand the environmental challenges shaping our landscape. Together we will read poems and stories from The Diné Reader: An Anthology of Navajo Literature and create our own poems and stories. Participants will receive a free copy of The Diné Reader and lunch. 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Flagstaff public library, 300 W. Aspen Ave. Free, register at azhumanities.org.
Cultural Demonstrations through November
Navajo jeweler Alphonso John, and Navajo carvers Gloria and Leo Chee will be showcasing their crafts from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Desert View Watchtower.
Native American Festival
The town of Winslow is holding a Native American Festival Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Little League Park. There will be food, arts and crafts. Hosted by WUSD Indian Education Committee.
Monument Valley Veterans Marathon
The community is holding a marathon, half marathon and 10k Nov. 18. There will also be a community fun run, live music, crafts, food and more. There will be a special veterans recognition program. go to runsignup.com/monumentvalleymarathon for more information.
Cultural demonstrations at Montezuma's Castle and Tuzigoot national monuments continue through November
Montezuma's Castle and Tuzigoot national monuments will host indigenous arts, presentation and performances onsite throughout the month of November in honor of Native American Heritage Month. Navajo, Hopi, Yavapai-Apache and Tohono O'odham tribal members will display crafting techniques, traditional dances and tribal history talks.
Native American Heritage exhibit
All American: The Power of Sports is an exhibit at the National Archives Museum that includes stories and artifacts related to sports at Indian boarding schools, and a special display about legendary athlete Jim Thorpe featuring the Olympic gold medals restored to his family in 1982 and a handwritten letter Thorpe sent in 1935. View the online exhibit at museum.archives.gov/all-american.
Saguaro National Park: Stories Yet to Be Told
Saguaro National Park is holding a panel discussion with speakers from the Tohono O’Odham Nation Nov. 18 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The location is 2700 N. Kinney Road in Tucson. Contact Cam_Juarez@nps.gov for more information.
Native Knowledge 360° and Teaching for Change Virtual Teach-In: Indigenous Education
Saturday, Nov. 4, 12 p.m.–3 p.m. EST
Online, Cost is $15, and registration is required here.
Join the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and Teaching for Change for a day of online conversation, curriculum highlights, and ideas exchange. The teach-in will be held virtually via Zoom. Educators will take part in workshops that include relevant and resource-rich training experiences to support effective use of American Indian-focused classroom lessons, and resources from Teaching for Change and the museum.