Telling stories and sharing culture through dance, family traditions, art, and music, we can learn contemporary diversity and the long history of Indigenous peoples across the land we now call the United States.
On our continuous journey to learn more and to honor and respect people, you are invited to celebrate the history, culture, and traditions of American Indians and Alaska Natives. But perhaps the best way to honor Indigenous people this month and year-round is to rethink history and question our history books, to shine a light on truth, acknowledging our painful history and aspiring for a more just society that seeks to lift, not erase, the lives, traditions, and cultures of the people who were here first.
Though recent news of human remains found at boarding schools has increased awareness of Native American children who were torn away from their families and forced to deny their heritage, much of American history has not been told to the masses. The United States did not grant Native Americans the right to vote in every state until the 1960s and Indigenous folks continue to face many obstacles to voting.
False narratives and invisibility continue to have harmful, long-term impacts by shaping federal and state policies, determining court decisions that affect tribes and Native peoples, furthering inadequate funding of programs impacting Native communities, and normalizing bias, discrimination, and racism towards Native peoples.
Throughout this month and beyond, there are many opportunities to learn about, pay tribute to, and celebrate the rich ancestry and current contributions of Native Americans.
- Welcome to Nebraska by Renee San Souci.
- Sacred Winds Pastor Lin Quenzer explores the consequences of human actions and the intersection of science and culture in this land acknowledgement.
- Find who first lived on the land you now call home here.