National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

Friday November 5, 2010

What is it?

On August 3, 1990 President George H. W. Bush declared the month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month. The Bill read in part that "the President has authorized and requested to call upon Federal, State and local Governments, groups and organizations and the people of the United States to observe such month with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities." Since then presidents have reiterated that proclamation each year with one of their own adding Alaska Natives to the proclamation.

Why is it important to the Army?

Our Army values diversity. Americans Indians have volunteered to serve in conflicts from World War II to Iraq. Few encountered any overt prejudice while in uniform, though Navajo Code Talkers were sometimes mistaken by their own men for Japanese soldiers. But as one code talker recalled, Navajos had a chance to prove that wrong; the military prized them for speaking their own language. For all American Indian veterans, the honor of defending their country overrode all other considerations. From the Civil War to today's current conflicts, American Indians and Alaska Natives have made lasting contributions to our wartime efforts.

What is the Army doing?

As with all commemorative months that feature the Army's diverse ethnicities, this commemorative month aims to provide a platform and forum for Americans Indians and Alaska Natives to share their culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance, and ways and concepts of life to their installations, agencies and communities. The Army encourages appropriate events and activities showcasing their service and contributions to our Army in war and peacetime.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The United States Army has celebrated these brave Americans' heritage and their importance to our great Nation and our world. They have enriched our heritage and added to all aspects of our society. Our country is blessed to have their character and strength, and we are especially grateful for the generations of Americans Indians and Alaska Natives who have answered the call to defend our country. We will not forget them and this commemoration will continue far into the future.


American Indians in the U.S. Army

Library of Congress

Native American Heritage Month

Indian Health Service





Updated on the first of each month: Army Professional Writing







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2010-2013: 60th Anniversary of the Korean War

November 2010

*Military Family Appreciation Month (Presidential Proclamation)

Warrior Care Month (Warrior Transition command)

Native American Heritage Month*

Nov. 11: Veteran's Day - refer to: resources for Veterans

Nov. 16 & 17: Medal of Honor White House & Pentagon ceremonies for Staff Sgt. Salvatore A. Giunta

Nov. 25: Thanksgiving Holiday


" For millennia before Europeans settled in North America, the indigenous peoples of this continent flourished with vibrant cultures and were the original stewards of the land. From generation to generation, they handed down invaluable cultural knowledge and rich traditions, which continue to thrive in Native American communities across our country today. During National Native American Heritage Month, we honor and celebrate their importance to our great Nation and our world.…."

- President Barack Obama, in his presidential proclamation declaring November as National Native American Heritage Month.

View the complete 2010 Presidential Proclamation-- National Native American Heritage Month


"The BOSS Safety Factor coincides with our Quality of Life pillar. This is a way for the BOSS program to make sure they are helping do their part in maintaining a high standard of Quality of Life for all of our Soldiers. If there is an injury or a death resulting from a safety violation, it not only affects the mission at hand with one less Soldier, but it also affects every Soldier within his or her Army community."

- Sgt. Danielle Colson, FMWRC Department of the Army BOSS representative, at the IMCOM booth at the 2010 AUSA annual meeting & exposition

'BOSS Safety Factor' uses humor to lower risks


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