Native American Heritage Month
For almost one hundred years, Americans both Indian and non-Indian have urged that there be permanently designated by the nation a special place on the calendar to honor the contributions, achievements, sacrifices, and cultural and historical legacy of the original inhabitants of what is now the United States and their descendants: the American Indian and Alaska Native people.
The first time an American Indian Day was formally designated in the U.S. may have been in 1916, when the governor of New York fixed the second Saturday in May for his state’s observance. Since then, Congress and the President have observed a day, a week or a month in honor of the American Indian and Alaska Native people. And while the proclamations do not set a national theme for the observance, they do allow each federal department and agency to develop their own ways of celebrating and honoring the nation’s Native American heritage.
The theme for 2014 is “Native Pride and Spirit: Yesterday, Today and Forever.”