NASA Celebrates Native American Heritage Month
S&K Global Solutions (SKGS) celebrated Native American Heritage Month, in collaboration with NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. SKGS handed out samples of buffalo jerky to participants. Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Councilman Steve Dupuis attended on behalf of the tribe.
History of Native American Heritage Month
Championed in 1990, President George H. W. Bush gained the support of both Senate and Congress to designate the month of November, including subsequent years, to be National Native American
Heritage Month. In 1992, President Bush proclaimed it The Year of the American Indian, the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Columbus.
The idea of celebrating or honoring American Indian and Alaska Native people is not a new one. In 1912, Dr. Arthur Caswell Parker (Seneca) persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to set aside a day for the “first Americans,” which they did. A few years later in 1914, Rev. Red Fox James rode horseback across America to gain gubernatorial support from various states to recognize “Indian Day.” After gaining the endorsement of 24 governors Rev. James continued horseback to Washington, D.C. to deliver the petition to the White House.
Today many organization and federal agencies celebrate National Native American Heritage Month, including Department of Defense, The Small Business Administration, Department of Energy, and many others. Beginning in 2003, the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs has issued a theme for Native American Heritage Month. Below is a list of the themes from past National Native American Heritage Months.
In 2009, Congress passed the Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009 and signed by President Obama designating the Friday after Thanksgiving as National Native American Heritage Day.