American Indian Heritage Month
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
At the beginning of the 20th century, Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, began an effort to establish an American Indian Day. Parker, who was director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, New York, first turned to the Boy Scouts of America for help. The organization agreed to set aside a day to honor native heritage.
American Indian Heritage Month began in 1990. That's when President George H.W. Bush approved a resolution designating November as a time to recognize and celebrate the country's native heritage.
Scholastic Kid Reporters have put together a collection ofstories and interviews to highlight American Indian Heritage. Check back throughout November for new stories, including coverage of a Tribal Nations Conference hosted by President Barack Obama, an interview with accomplished artist Kay Walkingstick who won a Scholastic Art and Writing Award at the beginning of her career, and more!
Historic Tribal Nations Meetingby Alexandra ZhangPresident Barack Obama hosts leaders from 564 Native American tribal nations in Washington, D.C. Artist Brian Jungenby Nick BerrayNative American Jungen turns common objects into cultural treasures; he’s currently featured in a major new exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. The Art of Brian Jungenby Nick BerrayCan’t get to Washington, D.C., to see Brian Jungen’s exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian? Then take this virtual tour of Jungen’s work. Pocahontas Book Reviewby Maya KandellHow Pocahontas, a young Powhatan girl who happens to be the chief’s daughter, saved the first English colony 400 years ago. Native American Influenceby Lisa SaundersAmerica celebrated its 400th birthday two years ago, but it didn’t all begin in 1607, says Steven Atkins, Chief of Virginia’s Chickahominy tribe.
Sounds of the Taino
A group of Taino, the indigenous people of Puerto Rico, visited the American Museum of Natural History in New York City to perform ceremonial music on instruments made from natural materials. Scholastic News Online recorded their performances, including a piece that sounds like a day in a rain forest.
Native American Heritage Activity Set
This activity set explores some of the contributions Native Americans have made—and continue to make —to the culture, tradition, and history of our nation.