A-Z Index

Native American Heritage Month Information & Resources

In 1990, Congress passed Pub. L. No. 101-343, which authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation designating the month of November 1990 as National American Indian Heritage Month. Congress chose the month of November to recognize the American Indians, as this month concluded the traditional harvest season and was a time of thanksgiving and celebration for American Indians. Native American and American Indian are terms used to refer to individuals living within what is now the United States prior to European contact. American Indian has a specific legal context because the branch of law, Federal Indian Law, uses this terminology. However, in recent years the term Indigenous has been used as an identification. Indigenous refers to those peoples with pre-existing sovereignty who were living together as a community prior to contact with settler populations.

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