Ways to Honor Native American Heritage Month around DC
Events this November that acknowledge the culture, challenges and history of Indigenous people
The month of November is Native American and Alaska Native Heritage Month. It was first recognized on a national level by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and adopted in 1990 by President Bush.
“Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Indigenous people have faced both historically and in the present and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges,” according to the NCAI website.
D.C. offers many events of both educational value and cultural immersion throughout November; The Eagle has compiled a list of some of the many.
Accessing Archaeology: A Conversation on Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage
The Smithsonian Institution hosted a virtual panel to discuss the critical need of recognizing and including “Indigenous traditional knowledge and perspective.” The panel included five Native archaeologists who discussed “their experiences and challenges in a field created by colonizers.” The panel was hosted on Nov. 15.
Native Knowledge 360 Webinar
Pre-recorded webinars through The National Museum of the American Indian’s student programming are available on their website and are a great way to get educated on topics related to Indigenous culture. Feature topics include efforts in theater to get more Indigenous actors on the stage.
Native Film Showcase
The National Museum of the American Indian is hosting a Native Cinema Showcase which runs from Nov. 18-22. Many of the movies will be on demand for screening, with the exception of a few that require registration for viewing. There will be 11 different films, ranging from Indigenous folktales and animations to various documentaries exploring the Native experience in America.
Native American Heritage Month Panel
The first American Indian Cultural District is hosting an online educational panel related to Native American culture on Nov. 22 from 6-7 p.m. PST. The event is free and features two speakers from the American Indian Cultural District, as well as Indigenous activist LaNada War Jack, who was the first Native American student to attend UC Berkeley.
Native Voices at the Library of Congress
The Library of Congress on Nov. 25 at 11 a.m. EST is hosting storyteller Dovie Thomason to share traditional stories from her own Kiowa Apache tradition, as well as her experiences with other Native nations.
Champion Hoop Dancer
On Nov. 25 from 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m EST, NMAI invites people to attend a hoop dancing demonstration in the Atrium.
Native American Heritage Day Walk
The Accokeek Foundation is hosting a walk around Piscataway Park on Nov. 25. The event will start at 12 p.m. EST and feature a native tree walk, as well as various activities related to the Piscataway People.
DC Public Library Series
The DC Public Library is also hosting events and activities for Native American Heritage Month at various locations. One featured event includes a book club night at Mt. Pleasant Library on Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. EST, featuring the novel “When Two Feathers Fell From the Sky.”
Through these events and more, there are many ways to observe Native American Heritage month. Other activities include learning about Indigenous activism, acknowledging which Native land you are on or taking action on prevalent issues like ICWA undergoing Supreme Court review, as took place earlier this month.