Did you know the month of November is “National Native American Heritage Month?” The purpose of this designation is, to recognize and acknowledge Native Americans’ contributions to the growth and establishment of the United States of America. Originally, president Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 13, 1983, as “American Indian Day.” This was later changed to “American Indian Week” and by 1991, Congress proclaimed November, “American Indian Heritage Month.” Native Americans typically honor this month by continuing their cultural traditions, such as throat singing or shawl dancing. So, this month, find a celebration and enjoy celebrating this wonderful culture.
Here is a brief history of Native Americans in North Carolina. Over 400 years ago, English colonial settlers came to Roanoke Island and encountered Native Americans tribes on the coast. At the time, the Native Americans were considered archaic people, mainly associated with bows and arrows, pottery, and agriculture. The interactions between the Native Americans and the settlers had both positive and negative impacts. A positive effect of this coming together of different cultures, is our annual Thanksgiving celebration. A celebration of the bountiful harvest in this new world, shared between the two. This Thanksgiving, remember the importance of Native Americans to the history of the celebration.