Native American Heritage Month

Kahmoon Ngangoum Mundji, Writer

Native Americans have been around before the foundation of the United States as we know it, but they have been assimilated into a new system of government and laws by modern Americans. As an act of respect and gratefulness toward Native American, the month of November has been dedicated to them.

November is recognized around the country as Native American Heritage Month or American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. President Reagan was the first president to take action toward recognizing the sacrifices and the contributions of Native Americans, as he issued from 1986, the week of November 23-30 as American Indian Week. Every president since has started to try and do some good deeds for Native Americans.

The Native American Heritage Month should also be recognized around the school; Mr. McGraw, a history teacher, was interviewed on the history of Native Americans.

“It’s been a long process of struggle between Native American and the US Government, there has been lots of war between the two, and the government tried at many occasions to assimilate Native American into following the laws in place. While in that process, Native Americans lost lots of their territories. There were lots of laws put in place directed toward Native American to try and suppress them, and especially to take their lands from them. In the past few years, the US government tried to have a better relationship with Native American, so they “created” an association called The Bureau of Native Affairs and ironically, it was also this same association that tried to assimilate them at the beginning.” 

Mr. Dawes was also interviewed about the contribution of Native Americans regarding the government of the United States.

“Native Americans did not actively create any laws, but the US government has created laws to harm them by moving them and taking possession of their lands, but recently, there have been laws put in place to compensate for those wrongdoings in the past. Early writings of the constitution can be attributed to native Americans, as some of the laws were inspired by them.”

To sum up, Native Americans played a great role in the foundation of the United States as we know it today. In order to show our appreciation and respect for their sacrifices, we must thoroughly celebrate the month of November which was dedicated to them. Native American Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the  public about Native tribes, and how tribal citizens have worked to overcome these challenges.