The National Native American Heritage Month was created in 1990 after Congress passed a resolution and it was blessed by George H.W. Bush, to honor Native American contributions, sacrifices, achievements, and culture amongst the years. This month was made to recognize the historical legacy of the original inhabitants of what we now know as The United States of America.
My Grandmother, “Neechie ” warned me of the White washing of history before I started Kindergarten! Unfortunately, as a young child I listened but didn’t realize the school curriculum was even worse than she said.
The history of Native Americans stretches back for thousands of years and unfortunately much of the history is not written; it is passed down through generations orally. That’s why this month is so important. It gives native families a chance to reconnect with their roots and pass that history down to the younger generation. Conversations are often therapy, there’s a lot of pain that comes with the roots of Native Heritage and this month brings up a major sore spot: “Thanksgiving.” The celebration of a mass murder… Glorifying a rapist and people who brought diseases to a nation. A Genocide!
Side Eye… (Why won’t this cancel culture cancel things that matter like Thanksgiving, but that’s too much like right. They rather take away the freedom of speech of a rapper.)
For a culture where dancing is praying, this month is usually filled with Pow Wows. Unfortunately, due to Covid many Pow Wows have been cancelled. Pow Wows have also been a beautiful way to invite others into learning more about the cultures. But you don’t have to stop! Youtube University is real and there are some beautiful books out there.
These are three of Rhythm’s favorites that she makes sure we revisit every year.
A True story of Friendship and Freedom between a Native American Girl and a Black young man.
Crossing Bok Chitto
The Native American Cinderella Story
The Ruff Face Girl