We Are Native People: Celebrating National Native American Heritage Month

By Staff Sgt. ShaTyra ReedNovember 2, 2021

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – November is National Native American Heritage Month, which honors American Indians and Alaska Natives. This year’s theme is “Resilient and Enduring: We Are Native People.”

On Nov. 14, 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed into law a joint resolution designating the month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month (also known as Native American Indian Month) to honor the hundreds of Native American tribes and people in the United States, including Alaska but not Hawaii.

"During the National American Indian Heritage Month, as we celebrate the fascinating history and time-honored traditions of Native Americans, we also look to the future. Our Constitution affirms a special relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes and — despite a number of conflicts, inequities, and changes over the years — our unique government-to-government relationship has endured. In recent years, we have strengthened and renewed this relationship," said Bush in his proclamation.

In 2009, President Barack Obama proclaimed the month as National Native American Heritage Month.

Throughout history, Native Americans from across nearly 574 federally recognized tribes have served in this nation’s military with great courage and distinction.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the American Indian and Alaska Native population comprised 9.7 million people, or 2.9% of the total population in 2020. Today, more than 150,000 American Indians and Alaskan natives are veterans, and more than 9,000 Native Americans are currently serving. This is the highest service rate of any race or ethnicity in America, speaking to the patriotism of our indigenous teammates.

During this Native American Heritage Month, we honor the cultures that represent the robust Native American heritage of our Nation and their contributions to our society.

In honor of National Native American Heritage Month, we will be highlighting some our Native American Soldiers who proudly wear U.S. Army on their chest and their heritage in their heart.