November: A Time to Remember and Honor

By Jan Norwood

November gives us a chance to honor two groups of people: Native Americans and veterans. National American Indian Heritage Month runs all of November while Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11.

What began in New York in 1916 as “American Indian Day “has evolved into National American Indian Heritage Month as declared by President George H.W. Bush in 1990.

According to the 2020 Census, American Indian and Alaska Native population account for 7.1 million of the population of the United States. There were 324 distinct, federally recognized American Indian reservations in 2020, including federal reservations and off-reservation trust land. The number of federally recognized Indian tribes in 2020 was 574.

There are many opportunities to celebrate the rich culture of Native America, including attending Powwows, festivals, art shows, and gatherings. The National Museum of the American Indian, part of the Smithsonian, is sponsoring a Native Cinema Showcase from November 12-18. The on-demand, virtual event show cases 47 films from 39 native nations and 13 countries (Source: NMAI / Native Cinema Showcase 2021 (brand. live)).

Veteran’s Day has been celebrated since November 11, 1919, when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the day as Armistice Day. It was later changed to Veteran’s Day in 1954 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to honor all veterans of all wars. The national observance will be held in Arlington Cemetery at exactly 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns. The ceremony continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans' organizations and remarks from dignitaries. Ways to honor veterans include placing flags on the graves of veterans, supporting veteran-owned businesses, inviting a veteran to speak at an event and thanking veterans for their service.

Resources

 

Facts for Features: American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month: November 2021. (2021, 10 23). Retrieved from United States Census Bureau: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2021/aian-month.html

Native American Heritage Month. (2021, 10 23). Retrieved from Native American Heritage Month: https://www.nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov/

Veterans Day. (2021, 10 23). Retrieved from US Department of Veterans Affairs: https://www.va.gov/OPA/vetsday/

Washington Tribes. (2021, October 23). Retrieved from Washington Tribes: https://www.washingtontribes.org/