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National American Indian Heritage Month:
Nov. 1 - Nov. 30

Formal American Indian heritage recognition began in 1915, when Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to recognize the "First Americans" with their own day. American Indian Day was later recognized by the annual Congress of the American Indian Association on the second Saturday of each May. Although there was a small movement pushing for national recognition of an American Indian Day, there are no records showing the movement's success. It was not until 1990 that President George H.W. Bush issued a proclamation declaring November to be National American Indian Heritage Month. The proclamation has been reissued every year, and today November is formally recognized as National American Indian Heritage Month.

Native Americans have inhabited America for over 10,000 years. Although many American Indians live in the contiguous United States, there is a significant presence in Alaska and Hawaii. According to 2009 U.S. Census data, there are approximately 4.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States.

American Indian society is incredibly diverse. According to the U.S Department of Interior, there are 562 federally recognized tribes. Some of the largest tribes include Navajo, Cherokee, Choctaw, Sioux, Chippewa, Apache, Lumbee, Blackfeet, Iroquois, and Pueblo. Tribal governments often offer community-based services to their members, such as firefighting, law enforcement, and court systems. Cultural aspects of Native Americans vary between tribes, although many Native Americans share similar values and experiences.

US Indian tribe map

 

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This website pulls together a variety of resources to facilitate learning about Native American history, culture, and achievements.

Classroom Resources

Bureau of Indian Affairs
This website offers governmental, environmental, and cultural resources to learn more about American Indians.
http://www.bia.gov/

Federally Recognized Tribes
This website offers a list of all federally recognized tribes.
www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/biaind.pdf

American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Resources Section on Colorín Colorado 
This portion of the website includes book lists, reading tips in the Navajo language, an interview with a Native American educator and more. www.colorincolorado.org/calendar/celebrations/aihm/