Doña Ana County Democrats Celebrate Native American Heritage Month

The Democratic Party of Doña Ana County is proud to celebrate diversity and to join in the observance of Native American Heritage Month, and joins in celebrating this year’s national theme, ‘Growing Native Leaders: Enhancing Our Seven Generations.’

NativeAmericanHeritageMonthThe month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people.

Each year we observe Native American Heritage Month in November by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens of the native peoples of New Mexico and the southwest, as well as those whose ancestors are indigenous to all of the western hemisphere, including North America, Central America, and South America.

We join in celebrating the diversity that we, as a nation, as a community organization, and as a political party must embrace, if we are to continue to ensure the future success of this great nation and remain a beacon of freedom to the rest of the world. We also celebrate the great cultural contributions Native American people have brought to the American quilt, and the ongoing economic contributions of those communities, which have greatly benefited all of us throughout our nation.

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. eventually led to the proclamation of November of each year purpose.

One of the very proponents of an American Indian Day was Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, who was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y. 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, Kans., 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.

In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting in Lawrence, Kans., 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 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. Several states have designated October 12, Columbus Day, as Native American Day.

In 1990 Congress passed a joint resolution of designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month,” which was signed by the President. 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.