November is Native American Heritage Month, as proclaimed each year by the President of the United States.
Native Americans are routinely celebrated for their participation in the settler’s first Thanksgiving, however, there are countless other contributions that Native people have made to the development of this country. There's chocolate, vanilla, and even many of the ideals put forth in the Constitution. But that’s just the beginning! Did you know that Native American's knowledge of plants and herbs contributed to the development of more than 20% of medicines in use today? Its time to recognize what an impact American Indians had on the development of this nation, and what better time to do that than Native American Heritage Month!
In some schools, efforts are made to explore history in a broader focus, but almost always focuses on the past and barely recognizes the presence of Native Americans today. Schools should now teach about all of the accomplishments, the contributions, the heroes past and present, and include the history of this country as it was influenced by Native peoples.
The importance of providing Native role models and of celebrating Native history and culture cannot be undermined. Bringing Native American speakers in the classroom is a great way to eliminate stereotypes and introduce the culture and even history from another perspective, and a chance to learn about all of the contributions Native people have made to this country.
For more info: www.changingwinds.org and click on the Education button on the horizontal banner for tons of great info as well as a full section on Native American Heritage Month!