Native American Heritage Month

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Noel Lyn Smith

November is Native American Heritage Month, a time to recognize the contributions of Native people in the United States and celebrate the diverse cultures, traditions and histories of Native Americans.

As the National Congress of American Indians explains, it is “an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present.”

While some form of recognition has occurred since the early 1900s, it was not until 1990 that President George H.W. Bush approved a joint resolution that designated November 1990 as “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Every president since then has signed similar proclamations.

In his 2022 proclamation, President Joe Biden Jr. touted the work his administration has done for and with Indigenous communities and representatives. Among them: securing $13 billion for infrastructure projects in tribal communities; launching the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative; and expanding investments and grant programs to address climate change and renew protections for tribal monuments.

“My administration will continue to write a new and better chapter in the story of our Nation-to-Nation relationships,” Biden states in his proclamation released Monday. “We will always honor the profound impact Native Americans continue to have in shaping out Nation and bringing us closer to the more perfect Union we know we can and must be.”

Activities will take place across the country throughout the month. If you know of an event, send an email to Noel Lyn Smith at with “Native American Heritage Month” in the subject line.

Eastern Time Zone


Dedication of the Yahentamitsi Dining Hall at the University of Maryland
When: Nov. 1
Time: 9:45 a.m.
Where: University of Maryland, 4136 Stadium Dr., College Park
More information: The university will dedicate its first building on campus to honor Native American heritage. The university named the dining hall in honor of the Piscataway People because the campus is on the tribe’s ancestral land. Remarks, ribbon-cutting and self-guided tours of the facility will take place at the event.

New York

Where We Belong
When: Now through Nov. 27
Where: The Public’s LuEsther Hall, 425 Lafayette St. at Astor Place, New York City
More information: “Where We Belong” is written and performed by Madeline Sayet (Mohegan) and directed by Mei Ann Teo. “In 2015, Mohegan theater-maker Madeline Sayet moved to England to pursue a PhD in Shakespeare, grappling with the question of what it means to remain or leave, as the Brexit vote threatens to further disengage the UK from the wider world,” according to the news release. “Moving between nations that have failed to reckon with their ongoing roles in colonialism, she finds comfort in the journeys of her Native ancestors who had to cross the ocean in the 1700s to help her people. In this intimate and exhilarating solo piece directed by Mei Ann Teo, Sayet asks us what it means to belong in an increasingly globalized world.” Free tickets are available to Indigenous and Native community members. For show and ticket information,

Washington, D.C.

Youth in Action: Reclaiming the Stage
When: Nov. 1
Time: 1-2 p.m.
Where: Online
More information: The National Museum of the American Indian and The Coca-Cola Foundation present this program that asks: Can changing theater mean changing the world? Join in a conversation with young Indigenous actors and playwrights who are reimagining Native representation on the stage. DeLanna Studi (Cherokee) will moderate the discussion between Tara Moses (Seminole Nation of Oklahoma), Emily Preis (Citizen of the Osage Nation) and Isabella Madrigal (Cahuilla and Turtle Mountain Chippewa). This program is free but advance registration is required.

Native Veterans Procession and Dedication and Weekend Celebration
When: Nov. 11-13
Where: Washington, D.C. and livestream
More information: The National Museum of the American Indian will honor the military service of Native American, Native Hawai’ian and Alaska Native veterans on Nov. 11 and will hold a formal dedication of the National Native American Veterans Memorial. The procession and dedication will be at 2 p.m. on the National Mall. It is part of a three-day celebration. The weekend program is available online.

Central Time Zone


Author talks webinar with Native author Monique Gray Smith
When: Nov. 2
Time: 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Where: Online
More information: Monique Gray Smith will talk about “Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults,” her adaptation of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book, “Braiding Sweetgrass.” “It serves as a guide for secondary school students to learn how Indigenous knowledge can enrich and coexist with Western knowledge in the natural sciences,” the event news release states. This free webinar is presented by Understand Native Minnesota.

North Dakota

Tribal panel discussion
When: Nov. 7
Time: Noon-4 p.m.
Where: Native, Inc. Community Development Corporation, 2403 E. Thayer Ave., Bismarck
More information: Native, Inc. Community Development Corporation will recognize the month with a tribal panel discussion with members of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Spirit Lake Nation, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

Mountain Time Zone


Native American Heritage Month Powwow Kick-off at Colorado State University
When: Nov. 4
Time: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Lory Student Center Plaza at CSU, Fort Collins

American Indian Science and Engineering Society Powwow at Colorado State University
When: Nov. 5
Time: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Where: Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom at CSU, Fort Collins
More information: Grand entry at 1 p.m. and at 7 p.m. with powwow feed at 5 p.m.

Colorado State University’s Native American Heritage Month Keynote featuring Actor D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai
When: Nov. 10
Time: 6 p.m.
Where: Lory Student Center Theater at CSU, Fort Collins
More information: D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai portrays Bear Smallhill on the Hulu series, “Reservation Dogs.” He will speak following a screening of the show. No reservations or tickets are required.


Stew and Stories
When: Nov. 3
Time: Stew and frybread at 6 p.m. MT; Storytelling at 7 p.m.
Where: South Mountain Community College Amphitheater Performing Arts Center, 7050 S. 24th Street, Phoenix
More information: The college will celebrate Native American Heritage Month with a night of stew, frybread and storytelling. Emerson Fry Bread will provide frybread while Freddie Johnson (Diné), Juan Tavena (Pascua Yaqui) and Kyle Mitchell (Diné) will tell stories,

O’odham Relation to Casa Grande Ruins
When: Nov. 2
Time: 1 p.m.
Where: Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, 1100 W. Ruins Dr., Coolidge
More information: Facebook event page

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More than a Fruit
When: Nov. 9
Time: 1 p.m.
Where: Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, 1100 W. Ruins Dr., Coolidge
More information: Facebook event page

The following activities are part of the 2022 Arizona Native American Recognition Days, a collaboration between the Phoenix Indian Center, Native American Connections and Native Health in Phoenix.

18th annual Fatherhood is Leadership Conference
When: Nov. 2 through Nov. 4
Time: 7 a.m.-5:15 p.m. on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3; 7 a.m.-1 p.m. on Nov. 4
Where: DoubleTree by Hilton, 1011 W. Holmes Ave., Mesa
More information: 480-833-5007,

American Indian Chambers of Commerce’s Symposium and Awards Luncheon
When: Nov. 3
Time: 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Wild Horse Pass Resort & Casino, 5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler
More information:

7th annual Native American Women’s Day Conference
When: Nov. 4
Time: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Wild Horse Pass Resort & Casino, 5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler
More information: 623-561-6838,

November First Friday: Partnership with Phoenix Suns
When: Nov. 4
Time: 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
Where: Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
More information:

Native Health’s Annual Bike Rodeo
When: Nov. 5
Time: 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
Where: Native Health, 777 W. Southern Ave., Mesa
More information: 602-279-5262,

9th annual Women’s Prayer Run
When: Nov. 5 and Sunday, Nov. 6
Time: 5 a.m.
Where: Gila River Indian Community
More Information: Renee Jackson, 480-404-2543; Pamela Thompson, 480-404-2543; Alie Walking Badger, 480-521-4378

34th annual Red Mountain Eagle Powwow
When: Nov. 5-6
Time: Nov. 5, 1 p.m.-7 p.m. with gourd dance at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.; Nov. 6, 1 p.m. with gourd dance at 10 a.m.
Where: Salt River Baseball Field, 1839 N. Longmore Road, Scottsdale
More information: 480-234-1432,

Veterans Day Gourd Dance
When: Nov. 11
Time: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Pueblo Grande Museum, 4619 E. Washington St., Phoenix
More information: 602-495-0901,

10th annual American Indian Veterans Sunset Tribute
When: Nov. 11
Time: 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
Where: Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
More information: 602-252-8840,

Pacific Time Zone


Body Language: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest

When: Nov. 6 through April 16, 2023
Where: Burke Museum, 4303 Memorial Way NE, Seattle
More information:

Indigenous Matrix: Northwest Women Printmakers
When: Now through Dec. 11
Where: Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., Seattle
More information:

Fluid in Nature
When: Now through Nov. 26
Where: Stonington Gallery, 125 S. Jackson St., Seattle
More information:

This was a densely wooded hill
When: Now through March 2023
Where: Henry Art Gallery, 15th Avenue NE & NE 41st Street, Seattle
More information:

Indigenous Art of the Salish Sea
When: Nov. 4-27
Where: Vashon Center for the Arts, 19600 Vashon Highway SW, Vashon
More information: