Native American Heritage Month
(Photo by: TORWAISTUDIO/Shutterstock)

President Ignores Native American Heritage Month, Makes It About White Founding Fathers Instead

November is Native American Heritage Month, meant to honor the ancient cultures of native people in the United States as well as bring awareness to the atrocities brought against them by colonists, politicians and soldiers.

But last week, President Donald Trump decided to make November “National American History and Founders Month,” to celebrate the country’s “dedication to promoting liberty and justice.” His administration put out the news in a press release on Halloween, the Washington Post reported.

“By centering this founders’ narrative and calling it American history, it completely erases Native people,” Tara Houska, a tribal attorney in Minnesota, told The Washington Post. “It’s an uncomfortable truth that the first people in this country were here before the founding of the U.S.”

Related Article: Native American Boys Are Suspended More Than Other Students in Sacramento Area and California, Report Says

The White House has not replaced Native American Heritage Month necessarily, just attempted to add recognition of the white founding fathers of the constitution, many of whom organized and spearheaded the taking of Native lands and destruction of their traditions.

Scholars and Native American tribes have come out against the administration’s announcement and questioned the narrative the press releases have been trying to push.

“The proclamation is a clear rejection of what Native American Heritage Month stands for: that we, as indigenous people, survived these so-called Founding Fathers who weren’t founders at all,” Simon Moya-Smith, a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation, told the Post. “They were invaders. They massacred, they murdered, they demonized.”

The White House’s website now features a proclamation about National American History Month and one for National Native American Heritage Month appeared on Nov. 5.

But just the addition of the so-called American History Month has offended many.

“It subverts and insults the purpose of this month by saying, ‘We’re also going to celebrate the white people that hated the Indians.’ Even if he does make the proclamation, people can see that in and of itself is lip service,” Moya-Smith told the Post.

Related Article: Meeting in a Box: Native American Heritage Month

Latest News

The History of Women’s History Month

We celebrate Women’s History Month each March to honor the legacy, contributions and resilience of women and girls around the world, but a recognized time dedicated to celebrating women wasn’t formally added to the calendar until 1980. What originally became a national, monthlong celebration began as a locally celebrated women’s…

Golden Globes 2021: Historic Firsts Despite a Lack of Diversity in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Voting Body

The 78th Golden Globes on Feb. 28 was marred with controversy, with confounding nominations and a lack of diversity among the voting body in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. In the first-ever bi-coastal ceremony, hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler lampooned HFPA’s diversity issues in the opening monologue. “Everybody is…

internet access for home schooling

FCC Approves $50 Monthly Internet Subsidies for Families with Financial Challenges

The Federal Communications Commission has approved a new broadband subsidy program designed to help families that have been struggling with the increased cost of internet access for schooling, work and other issues. According to Brian Fung of CNN Business, “The agency’s $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit Program provides eligible low-income…

We, As Ourselves initiative

Tarana Burke, Founder of #MeToo Movement, Starts New Initiative for Black Survivors

When activist Tarana Burke coined the #MeToo movement, she knew it would start a culture-shifting conversation about sexual violence. But three years after that movement began, she believes that change hasn’t been as far-reaching as she’d hoped, especially for Black women who’ve faced some aspect of sexual abuse or violence. …