Frisco museum celebrates Native American Heritage Month

Courtesy Frisco Native American Museum and Natural History Center

November is Native American Heritage Month, or as it is commonly referred to, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. Frisco Native American Museum invites you to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. 

A little history about Native American Heritage Month and how it became a nationally recognized celebration. Dr. Arthur C. Parker (Seneca Tribe) was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y. He lobbied for an American Indian Day, persuading the Boy Scouts of America to create a “First Americans” day, which they observed for three years.

In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association directed its president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, (Arapahoe Tribe) to sell an “American Indian Day” to the country. He issued a proclamation on Sept. 28, 1915, declaring the second Saturday of May as American Indian Day and added the first formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens. The year before he issued the proclamation, 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, but no holiday was made.

New York was the first state to declare a day for Native Americans in May 1916. New York was followed by Illinois in 1919. Finally, on August 3, 1990, President George H. W. Bush declared the month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month, thereafter commonly referred to as Native American Heritage Month. It was a landmark Bill honoring America’s Tribal people.

In honor of Native American Month FNAM is hosting a series of classes featuring arts and culture of Native peoples.

FNAM’s upcoming classes are:
November 15th & 16th, Amber Roth – Pine Needle Basket Making
November 23rd – Barbara Miller – Native Cooking – Squash
November 26th – Barbara Miller – Native Cooking – Breads & Desserts

Call the museum line – 252.995.4440 for more information or to reserve your seat. You can also visit the museum’s website here to purchase tickets or get more information.