Today is Native American Heritage Day, A Look at the Holiday

Today is not just Black Friday, it’s also Native American Heritage Day. 

Native American Heritage Day was established by former President Barack Obama. In 2009, Obama signed The Native American Heritage Day Resolution designating the Friday after Thanksgiving Native American Heritage Day. 

“I encourage every American to join me in observing Native American Heritage Day. It is also important for all of us to understand the rich culture, tradition, and history of Native Americans and their status today, and to appreciate the contributions that first Americans have made and will continue to make to our Nation” Obama said. 

However, the celebration of Native heritage is not singled down to this day alone, November is also recognized as Native American Heritage month. 

Native Americans have been here long before the pilgrims set sail on the Mayflower, and this day is to recognize, reflect, and honor the culture as well as recognize the existing two million Native Americans in the United States. 

As a culture and people, Native Americans are often underrepresented while being the indigenous people to the United States. This day restores some attention back to the foundations of the country and the people who originally inhabited it. 

Typically, tribes celebrate Native American Heritage Day with pow wows and many other forms of celebration, but due to COVID-19 most of those celebrations are being skipped out on. Especially by the Paiute tribe in Utah who are experiencing multiple COVID cases. 

Celebrations are not the only way to practice the holiday though, you can educate yourself on Native heritage, safely visit Native American historical locations, or maybe watch some YouTube videos of rain dances or Native American legends like the skinwalker. 

This Native American Heritage Day honor those who came before you and educate yourself on their history, like this greeting: 

Tena ka mihi atu ki a koutou me to whanau kei te tuara o te honu (Acknowledgements to you and your family upon the back of the turtle island.)

How do you plan on celebrating this Native American Heritage Day? Are you going Black Friday shopping? Let us know below,