Native American Heritage Month, November 2012

2012 Native American Banner

The month of November is designated by Congress and the president as a time to reflect on the rich traditions and accomplishments, as well as the suffering and injustices, that mark the history of American Indians and Alaska Natives. This year's theme chosen by the Society of American Indian Government Employees is "Serving Our People, Serving Our Nations: Native Visions for Future Generations."  

Congress called for week-long observances in the mid-1980s, and in 1990, National American Indian Heritage Month was designated under a joint congressional resolution approved by President George H.W. Bush. Each year, the sitting president designates November as National Native American Heritage Month. 

As of the 2010 Census, the nation's population of American Indians and Alaska Natives was 5.2 million, including those of more than one race. They made up 1.7 percent of the total population. Of this total, 2.9 million were American Indian and Alaska Native only, and 2.3 million were American Indian and Alaska Native in combination with one or more other races.  

Currently, there are 565 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and more than 100 state-recognized tribes across the United States.

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National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH supported sites)