This article was written by City Cast editor Natalia Aldana and originally published in Hey DC. Francesca Dabecco adapted the article with local resources for Hey Pittsburgh.
November was officially designated as a heritage month to recognize America’s original inhabitants and celebrate their rich culture and contributions in 1990, then referred to as National American Indian Heritage Month. But efforts to pay tribute to Indigenous people started long before.
Red Fox James, a member of the Blackfeet Nation, rode horseback across the U.S. seeking approval for a day to honor Native Americans and presented an endorsement from 24 states to the White House in 1915. The first official American Indian Day was declared by the New York state governor in May 1916.
This year’s theme is “Celebrating Tribal Sovereignty and Identity.” There are 574 federally recognized nations, tribes, and pueblos within the U.S. comprising over 3.7 million people. Self-governance is at the heart of Native people’s ability to protect and enhance the health, safety, and welfare of their communities.
Here’s How To Pay Tribute in Pittsburgh This Month:
- 📖 Check out these works from the Carnegie Library that celebrate Indigenous heritage.
- 🍎 Donate to the Singing Woods Food Pantry in partnership with the Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center’s Elders Program.
- 💵 Shop from Native artists, writers, furniture makers, and more at Four Winds Gallery.
- 🎧 Learn about whose land Pittsburgh is built on: the Wyandot, Monongahela, Delaware, Shawnee, and Iroquois peoples. [City Cast Pittsburgh]
- 📜 Discover the life and legend of Seneca Chief Guyasuta at the Fort Pitt Museum.