Native American Heritage

Summary: Native American Heritage is more than a month. This is a time to raise awareness of how tribal citizens are working to improve the lives of all people

Native History is American History

November is Native American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. But Native American Heritage is more than a month. This is a time to educate our school community about tribes, raise awareness about their many contributions, and highlight how tribal citizens and Nations work to improve the lives of all people, both tribal and nontribal.

This month and every day, SPS honors the achievements and contributions of Native Americans, especially our students, families, staff, and community. Our district recognizes Native Nations have been stewards of these lands since time immemorial. They know how to care for and protect this land, and their current contributions to science, technology, sustainability, government, and our economy add great value to our communities now and into the future.

Shana Brown is the Native American curriculum specialist for district’s Native American Education Program, led by Manager Gail Morris. They have developed meaningful and essential Native American resources for educators and families to use specifically for this commemorative time and throughout the year.

“Native history is American history … It’s important to know the truth,” Brown said. “It’s important to know that we are still here. It’s especially problematic when 87% of history contained textbooks presents Native Americans in a pre-1900 context. After the turn of the 20th century, we disappear in textbooks.”

During remote learning, SPS produced video tribal history lessons for elementary and middle school that are still available on SPSTV. Families can also access our American Indian Studies webpage to see some of our work and recommended resources, like the National Museum of the American Indian’s Native Knowledge 360°.

Families also can play a part in educating their children about Native American history and current issues and contributions by visiting our online American Indian Resource Library to check out literature and nonfiction available students and teachers.

Resources for learning more about Native American Heritage

Learn more about the artwork on our website

Did you know that Joy Harjo, a Muscogee citizen, is the United States Poet Laureate? includes a photo of Joy Harjo and artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sig, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know that Joy Harjo, a Muscogee citizen, is the United States Poet Laureate? includes a photo of Joy Harjo and artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sig, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? Washington State is Home to twenty nine federally recognized tribes? (Artwork by Andrea Wilbur Sigo
Did you know? Washington State is Home to twenty nine federally recognized tribes? (Artwork by Andrea Wilbur Sigo
Did you know?Did you know? That more than half of our states' names are Native American? (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? Ho-Chunk citizen Sharice Davidss is not only one of two first Native Americans elected to congress, but is also Kansas' first two-spirit (LGBTQ+) representative? (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? Cowlitz citizen Rosalie Fish brought national attention to missing and murdered indigenous women and girsl by running races with the red "silenced" handprint painted on her face? She is now running cross country for the University of Washington. (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? American Indians could not freely practice their religions until 1978? (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? Traditional tribal clothing is called Regalia? (never call them costumes) (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? Members of Redbone, who recorded "Come and get your love", are Yaqui, Shoshone, and Mexican?(artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Jimi Hendrix was Cherokee?
Did you know? Sak and Fox tribal citizen Jim Thorpe played for the NFL, MLB, won Olympic gold medals for the pentathlon and decathlon, and was voted athlete of the century and greatest football player of all time? (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? Quinault citizen Joe Dela Cruz stood alone and felled trees to halt illegal logging on his reservation? (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? Singer-actor Mandy Moore is Cherokee? (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe owns the White River Amphitheater? (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? Activist & Puyallup citizen Ramona Bennett co-authored the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978? Organized fish-in protests? (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? Jimi Hendrix was Cherokee?(artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? Jason Mamoa is Pawnee as well as Native Hawaiian (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? Tulalip citizen Janet McCloud co-founded the Indigenous Women's Network and fought for treaty fishing rights? (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? Fawn Sharp, former chairwoman of the Quinault Nation, is president of the National Congress of American Indians? (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? School Board directors Chandra Hampson (Ho-Chunk) and Zachary DeWolf (Chippewa Cree Nation of Rocky Boy) are Native? (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? That the current United States Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland is a citizen of the Laguna Pueblo Nation? (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? Chief Sealth was also Suquamish and is buried there? (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? It is a federal offense (PL 101-644) to sell items that falsely suggest that they are Indian produced? (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? Nisqualy citizen Billy Frank, Jr. was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom? and that his statue might replace Marcus Whitman in the U.S. Capitol? (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? Sin-Aikst (Colville Reservation) and Filipino Activist Bernie Whitebear led the takeover of Fort Lawton in 1970 and is the reason why we have Daybreak Star? (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? Washington Tribes employ over 30,000 people, most of them non-Indian? (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish
Did you know? Red Hot Chili Peppers front man Anthony Kiedis is Mohican (artwork by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, Squaxin/Skokomish

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