The month of November is full of celebrations not only for Thanksgiving, but Native American Heritage Month.
This month is dedicated to Native American’s in honor of the contributions Indigenous people have made to the United States. Throughout the month, Indigenous people are given the chance to share their unique culture, traditions and shed light on their communities.
President Joe Biden became the sixth president to recognize the month as such since President George Bush in 1990.
“Native American communities are an integral part of Arizona,” said Gov. Doug Ducey in a news release. “Their diverse culture, rich history and vibrant heritage strengthen our state, and we are thankful for all their contributions. This month, we are proud to recognize November as Native American Heritage Month.”
Arizona is home to 22 tribal nations that makes up about 28% of the state’s land base, according to the governor’s office. Here are four ways to celebrate Native American Heritage Month in the valley.
Where: 300 E Indian School Road, Phoenix
Phoenix Indigenous People’s March is a 5-mile relay in honor of indigenous people that have passed away and for people who have contributed to indigenous people’s future. The event will be on Nov. 20, 2021, starting at 7 a.m. at Steele Indian School Park to Eastlake Park. After, it will be a march to the Arizona Capital. A free luncheon of frybread will be held afterwards. The event will have support vehicles for elders, runners and attendees. Guest speakers and a drum group will also make an appearance, the names have yet to be announced.
Where: 2301 N Central Ave., Phoenix
By celebrating Native American Heritage Month, it’s important to know some of the history. The Heard Museum has been a Phoenix staple since 1929 that is devoted to telling the stories of American Indian people from a first-person viewpoint. In this museum, there are variety of art and history to explore. There are art exhibitions, outdoor galleries and interactive learning at this museum. The museum also offers hands on activities like weaving with beads on an oversize loom to produce wearable art.
Where: 707 N. 3rd St. Suite 130, Phoenix
Cahokia is one of the first female owned Indigenous-led social tech and art space in the country. The new art space is located in downtown Phoenix and offers a creative place with an Indigenous platform. The new art space represents indigenous art, design and culture through events, retail and art work. Cahokia recently opened in early October and is co-owned by Eunique Yazzie and Melody Lewis. Cahokia provides gallery and exhibit areas, open air workspace and a future retail area.
Where: 4545 N 7th Ave, Phoenix
If you’re looking for a bite of indigenous cuisine, be sure to check out The Fry Bread House in central Phoenix. This restaurant was opened in 1992 by Cecelia Miller, a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation. This gem is open year-round Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. till 8 p.m. The restaurant offers comfort food including their James Beard award winning fry bread.
Where: 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe
Tempe Center for the Arts is hosting a one-day event on Nov. 20, 2021 to embrace Native dances, storytelling, music and arts. The theme of the festival is “healing within.” The event will provide cultural education and demonstrate appreciation for Native Americans. The event is free admission and will begin at 10:30 a.m. with scheduled events following. Some of these events in-between include: The Art of Native Dance, kids mask workshop and a hoop dance workshop. The last event will be the closing ceremony at 5 p.m.
“The month is a time to cherish and celebrate our rich and diverse cultures, traditions, languages, and legacies. This month, take the time to share and embrace your identity and history with your children, friends, neighbors, and the general public. Our cultures and traditions are very much alive every day, and with continued strength and resilience, our children and grandchildren will carry our teachings into the future,” said President Jonathan Nez of Navajo Nation on social media.