Native American Heritage Month

November 1 - 30


What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose.

One of the very proponents of American Indian Day was Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, who was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, New York. He persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to set aside a day for the “First Americans” and for three years they adopted such a day. In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting in Lawrence, Kansas, formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day. It directed its president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapahoe, to call upon the country to observe such a day. Coolidge issued a proclamation on Sept. 28, 1915, which declared the second Saturday of each May as an American Indian Day and contained the first formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens.

The year before this proclamation was issued, Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Indians. On December 14, 1915, he presented the endorsements of 24 state governments at the White House. There is no record, however, of such a national day being proclaimed.

The first American Indian Day in a state 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, for example, legislators enacted such a day in 1919. Presently, several states have designated Columbus Day as Native American Day, but it continues to be a day we observe without any recognition as a national legal holiday.

In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994.




“What is Your Wound? / ᑭᓯᒧᓇᑊᑊᓴᑊᑊᐃᒋ" by Anthony Melting Tallow

Date: October 17-November 17, 2023
Time: Gallery Hours
Location: Fine Arts Building (B28), Amy H. Carberry Fine Arts Gallery

The Amy H. Carberry Fine Arts Gallery at Springfield Technical Community College presents a powerful Indigenous Peoples’ Heritage Month exhibition entitled, “What is Your Wound? / ᑭᓯᒧᓇᑊᑊᓴᑊᑊᐃᒋ" by Canadian-born, Chicopee-based artist Anthony Melting Tallow on view from October 17 through November 17, 2023. 

Anthony Melting Tallow will be in the Amy H. Carberry Gallery for a reception on Saturday, October 21.

Diversity Series Presents Lee Francis IV, Ph.D. (Pueblo of Laguna)

When: 11/9/22, 11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Location: Scibelli Hall (B2), 7th Floor

The Diversity Series presented Lee Francis IV, Ph.D. (Pueblo of Laguna), indigenous pop culture scholar, entrepreneur, digital creative, and founder of the Indigenous Comic Con, Red Planet Books and Comics, Native Realities, and Indigenous imagination organization.

Diversity Series: Dr. John Little

Date: November 4, 2021
Location: Zoom
Time: 12:15 PM

The Diversity Series at STCC presented John Little, PhD (Standing Rock Dakota). He is a scholar, historian, filmmaker, and mentor. His presentations and research focus on Native student retention and success in higher education, decolonizing work in the university, cultural appropriation and Native American-themed mascots, Lakota and Dakota music, and Native American Vietnam veterans, looking at the fact that Native Americans serve in the military at a higher per-capita rate than any other ethnic group in the United States. He is co-director of the documentary “More Than A Word” an exploration of Native American-based mascots, especially the Washington R_dskins, and their impact on real-life attitudes, issues, and policies.

We the Women: Student Edition

Date: November 29, 2021
Location: Zoom
Time: 12:15 PM

We celebrated Native American Heritage Month, by welcoming STCC students Quiana Dishface, Lakoda Jim, and Zoey Lynn Natonabah, three Navajo Nation students that are part of our diverse women’s basketball team and college campus. They shared their heritage and culture, as well as the challenges they have had to overcome to get to where they are.

Implicit Bias: Stereotypes & Monuments

Date: November 23, 2020
Location: Zoom
Time: 3:15 PM
Watch the Event on YouTube

STCC honored Native American Heritage Month with a presentation by Claudia Fox Tree. Indigenous people have always lived on this land, but their history, culture, and contributions are not seen. Claudia takes back the narrative and focuses on strategies to challenge bias and make contributions visible.