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    Native American Month - Nathan Hale High School - Sentinel - November 2019 November
    Posted on 11/01/2019
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    Isabel S., Staff Writer, Ruby W., Guest Writer, Olivia C., Spread Writer

    Origin of the month

    In 1990 President George W. Bush approved and designated the month of November as “National American Indian Heritage Month” (some other names the month is called includes “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”).

    Why it's important

    Native American Heritage Month is a time to recognize and remind current day Americans of the people who were here first.

    It exists to acknowledge native people and their contributions to the past and present day, in an attempt to amend the gaps in the traditional education system.

    It is there so we can learn about America’s true history — a history which is inclusive of the experiences of indigenous people — and from there, begin to pursue knowledge of present day indigenous influences.

    At the beginning of November, it’s long-standing tradition for the president to release a proclamation in support of the month. Yet this year, the Trump administration, released an accompanying proclamation which recognized the month as “National American History and Founders Month.”

    Every single day since colonization the Unit-ed States recognizes its founding fathers.

    The administration declaring November to also be National American History and Founders Month, is offensive and damaging to the indigenous peoples who are only granted one month out of the year to be recognized.

    Further, when the president combines Native American Heritage Month with National American History and Founders Month, it undermines the messages indigenous people are trying to communicate: that their heritage is just as important as that of european perspectives colonized history.

    What is Native American Heritage Month

    “It’s a chance for me to remember and connect to the roots that I am from. [And] it’s an opportunity for native people to remember where they come from.”

    - Desiree E., Sophomore

    Sophomore“Year long I think it’s important to remember where the country came from and whose land it’s on. And really what the roots of America is as a whole. But especially this month I think it’s a reminder to not for-get and remember that millions of lives were lost to build what we are standing on now.”

    - Aaron E., Freshman

    "To me it’s all about celebrating, and taking pride in our beautiful cultures and languages, and recognizing that there is a much deeper history on this land. It’s making sure we as indigenous people are represented. It’s an amazing month me because there is so much pride no matter what we may have faced, we are here and we are resilient. And everyday we are fighting the assimilation of our people."

    - Jenna H., junior

    “[Native Heritage Month] means that we can express who we are. It’s our own month. We get to share things that we don’t normally share in school. We get to teach people things that teachers aren’t really comfortable teaching.”

    - Maria E., Sophomore

    “It’s a month where I am more aware of my native heritage and I ask my family members questions. It’s a way for non-native people to listen up and recognize different tribes and to listen to different per-spectives. If there is an established month then people are more likely to set aside time to listen. If you’re listening, you’re hearing a story not an argument...Just listen.”

    - Oxzyana B., Junior

    “Since I was a little kid my elder taught me a lot about respect... it wasn’t really a thing that was important to me and I didn’t know a lot about my native heritage until I was like nine or tenish. I don’t celebrate it a lot. It’s not something that is very big in my family because my native heritage is further back. But I think it’s a very important month... it’s hard sometimes being at school because nobody really knows about it.”

    - Rosie P.