WASHINGTON, D.C. – To recognize the cultural contributions of the country’s approximately 2.5 million American Indian and Alaska Natives and others in the native communities, NOW celebrates National Native American Heritage Month.
As intersectional feminists, we understand that when we honor the past, we can take steps toward a better future. When we deepen our knowledge about the Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and affiliated Island communities, we learn more about their sacrifices to make the country we know today.
Despite centuries of colonization, government takeovers, systemic discrimination, and racism, tribes and communities across the United States have worked to preserve their heritage and thrived under the most difficult of circumstances. There are 574 federally recognized tribes in the United States, each with its own cultures, traditions, languages, and stories. During November, a plethora of events and narratives can educate us about these tribes, their current relationship and status with the federal government, the ways they incorporate their heritage into everyday life, and the numerous challenges they still face.
Together, we have the power to shape a future where Native American voices are not just heard but listened to, where all cultures and contributions are cherished and respected. We can honor those erased from history, appreciate what we have today, and continue to work toward an equitable tomorrow. We stand together in solidarity with Native American communities and continue to learn, support, and advocate for their rights and recognition.