Since 1990, November has been marked as “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Efforts to set aside at least a day to honor America’s indigenous peoples go back to 1915, when Red Fox James, a member of the Blackfoot nation, rode horseback from state to state calling for a day to honor Native Americans. The first “American Indian Day” was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of New York. Several states celebrate the fourth Friday in September. In Illinois, legislators enacted “American Indian Day” in 1919. Presently, several states have designated Columbus Day as Native American Day, but it continues to be a day observed without any recognition as a national legal holiday. It’s way past time for that to change. Meanwhile, please check out the “Native American Heritage Month” site for local activities.
Image courtesy “White Wolf Pack.”