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District 196 celebrates Native American Heritage Month this November

Did you know, in 1990 the month of November was officially declared Native American Heritage Month? Furthermore, this is a federal proclamation recognized across the country, and Minnesota also recognizes American Indian Month in May each year. 

In recognition of this important declaration, we encourage District 196 families to explore the rich history of indigenous people around the United States and in Minnesota. We have compiled resources to showcase and celebrate the contributions of indigenous people within American society and history. And we hope this will further our community's knowledge and exposure to indigenous lives and perspectives.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your American Indian Education Cultural Family Advocate or visit our American Indian Education webpage.

Fast Facts

  • There are currently 574 self-governing/sovereign indigenous nations within the United States.
  • In 2019, there were 6.9 million indigenous people living in the U.S.
  • District 196 currently has more than 460 American Indian students who represent over 45 difference indigenous nations.
  • There are four Dakota reservations and seven Ojibwe reservations in Mni Sota
  • Mni Sota translates to "Land Where Water Reflect the Clouds" in the Dakota language.
  • The Dakota people are indigenous to Mni Sota and the Ojibwe migrated from the east coast to the "Land Where Food Grows on Water."
  • Lacrosse is a sport invented by the Ojibwe and it is called "The Creator's Game"
  • The Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota, Peggy Flanagan, is an enrolled citizen of the White Earth Nation.
  • Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo) and Sharice Davids (HoChunk Nation) are the first Native American women to serve in the United States Congress. Both were re-elected on Nov. 3, 2020.
  • The 1972 Indian Education Act was the landmark legislation establishing a comprehensive approach to meeting the unique needs of American Indian and Alaska Native students.

Online Resources 

Books about Thanksgiving and Gratitude written by Native American Authors:

Books available to be checked out from our Indian Education Lending Library Collection

Thanksgiving Resources

From American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving:

“Each November educators across the country teach their students about the First Thanksgiving, a quintessentially American holiday. They try to give students an accurate picture of what happened in Plymouth in 1621 and explain how that event fits into American history. Unfortunately, many teaching materials give an incomplete, if not inaccurate, portrayal of the first Thanksgiving, particularly of the event’s Native American participants....It is our hope that this information will encourage you to teach about Thanksgiving in a new way—one that recognizes the country’s original people and gives real meaning to November as Native American Heritage Month."