November is Native American Heritage Month, a time to commemorate the rich histories, numerous cultural traditions and significant contributions of our country’s earliest inhabitants.
The annual celebration began as National American Indian Heritage Month in 1990 when President George H.W. Bush approved a resolution declaring November as a time to recognize the contribution the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S.
“Native American Heritage Month provides an opportunity to understand, explore and educate ourselves on the people and culture that transformed the American landscape,” said Chris Stokes, assistant director of the Multicultural Affairs Office at the University of Chattanooga at Tennessee.
“In understanding the Indigenous people of this continent, we start to have a deeper understanding of the human journey and also the part we play in preserving the culture and the legacy of the founding peoples of this great land,” he said.
The Multicultural Center in Lupton Hall 119 has a visual timeline tracking the heritage of Native Americans, while a series of virtual events will be held throughout November.
Explore Native American Heritage Month
Youth in Action: Reclaiming the Stage
Tuesday, Nov. 1, 1-2 p.m.
Where: Click here
Details: A conversation with Indigenous actors and playwrights reimagining Native representation on the stage. Panelists are Tara Moses (Seminole Nation of Oklahoma), Emily Preis (Citizen of the Osage Nation) and Isabella Madrigal (Cahuilla and Turtle Mountain Chippewa). DeLanna Studi (Cherokee) moderates the discussion. The program is free, but advance registration is required. A direct link will be emailed to registrants 24-48 hours in advance. A recording will be available on demand following the event. This program is part of the Youth in Action: Conversations about Our Future series, which features young Native activists and changemakers from across the Western Hemisphere working towards equity and social justice for Indigenous peoples. Sponsored by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
Friday, Nov. 18-Friday, Nov. 25
Details: The online program includes 35 films—six features and 30 shorts—representing 30 Native nations in eight countries: United States, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Colombia and Sweden. There are 10 Indigenous languages spoken in the films. Genres include documentaries, music videos, kid-friendly shorts, films in Indigenous languages and more. Sponsored by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
Details: Virtual exhibit hosted by the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C., showcasing various historical moments, including the Invention of Thanksgiving, Pocahantas: Queen of America, the Indian Removal Act of 1830, and the Battle of Little Big Horn.
Tuesday, Nov. 1-Wednesday, Nov. 30
Details: E-books and e-videos to allow you to explore at your own pace. Also, see weekly themed displays of e-books on timely topics to promote a wide array of engaging resources.
Details: The History Channel website explores kayaks to contraceptives to pain relievers developed by Native Americans.
Details: The History Channel website examines how, when explorers sought to colonize their land, Native Americans responded in various stages, from cooperation to indignation to revolt.
Details: Virtual interactive map project working to identify Native/Indigenous Lands.
Details: This website honors the generations of Native Americans who have served in the United States armed forces since the American Revolutionary War from 1775-1783.
Preservation and Education Organizations
- Chattanooga InterTribal Association (CITA)
- Native American Indian Association of Tennessee
- Native American Services – Center for Cherokee Heritage Museum and Gallery
- Native History Association East Tennessee
Prominent Native American sites in the Chattanooga area
The park site was the last seat of the Cherokee national government before the 1838 enforcement of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 by the U.S. military, which resulted in most of the Cherokee people in the area being forced to emigrate west.
Citico Town and Mound was a major center of the Coosa confederacy at the mouth of Citico Creek.
A pedestrian link between downtown Chattanooga and the Tennessee River marking the beginning of the Trail of Tears.
Documentary from WTCI-TV explores the Cherokee Nation of the Tennessee Valley and the leadership of Chief John Ross—Cherokee name: Guwisguwi, meaning “mysterious little white bird”—in shaping the Chattanooga area.