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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.

Northwest Land Acknowledgement

Indigenous people from tribes such as the Otoe (Jiwere), Ioway (Báxoǰe), Missouria (Nut’achi) originally inhabited northwestern Missouri. Others, like the Sac and Fox (Thakiwaki and Meskwaki), later moved to the region in response to encroachment by white settlers in the East and Great Lakes. Still other groups, like the Potawatomi (Neshnabé), were forcibly moved here to temporary reservations. Northwest Missouri State University acknowledges this history and that people were removed unjustly to this land and from this land. Our history includes the exclusions and erasures of many Indigenous peoples, including those on whose land this institution is located. We invite you to visit Northwest’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s and the Provost’s webpage for more information about this history, these tribes, and our Indigenous student population.

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