Events

November 8, 2013

In honor of National American Indian Heritage Month

Here are the facts of the day from the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute website at https://www.deomi.org:

Day 1: The month of November is designated by Congress and the president as a time to reflect on the rich traditions and accomplishments, as well as the suffering and injustices, that mark the history of American Indians and Alaska Natives. The theme for 2013, Guiding Our Destiny with Heritage and Traditions, was chosen by the Society of American Indian Government Employees.

Day 2: The first American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1916 in New York. Red Fox James, a Blackfeet Indian, rode on horseback from state to state, gathering endorsements from 24 state governments to have a day to honor American Indians. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush declared November National American Indian Heritage Month.

Day 3: As of the 2011 American Community Survey, the nation’s population of American Indians and Alaska Natives was 5.1 million, including those of more than one race. They made up 1.6 percent of America’s population. Of this total, about half were American Indian and Alaska Native only, and about half were American Indian and Alaska Native in combination with one or more other races.

Day 4: In 1987, the Trail of Tears National Historical Trail was established. In 1838, more than 15,000 Cherokee Indians were removed by the U.S. Army from North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama. Held in concentration-like camps through the summer, they were then forced to travel more than 1,000 miles under horrible conditions to Indian Territory, which is now Oklahoma. One of the darker events in American history, this catastrophic journey killed thousands of Indians, devastating American Indian cultures.

Day 5: American Indians and Alaska Natives are members of sovereign tribal nations that have a unique legal and political relationship with the federal government. This relationship has a strong historical foundation and has been recognized and reinforced by the United States Constitution, nation-to-nation treaties, federal statutes, case laws, executive orders and other administrative policies.

Day 6: Currently, there are 566 federally-recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and more than 100 state-recognized tribes across the United States.

Day 7: The population of American Indians and Alaska Natives, including those of more than one race, is projected to be 8.6 million on July 1, 2050.

Day 8: The term Alaska Native refers to Alaska’s original inhabitants, including Aleut, Eskimo and Indian groups.

Day 9: The term Native American refers to any member of the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere.

Day 10: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 153,223 American Indians and Alaska Natives were veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces as of November 2011.

Day 11: American Indians have participated with distinction in the United States military for more than 200 years. Their courage, determination, and fighting spirit were recognized by American military leaders as early as the 18th century.

Day 12: President Obama signed into law the Violence Against Women Re-authorization Act of 2013, increasing protections for American Indian women and other victims previously left vulnerable by gaps in the law. Currently, American Indian women are more than twice as likely to be victims of domestic violence as women of other races. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that 46 percent of Native American women have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by a partner.

Day 13: Congress enacted the Indian Citizenship Act (also known as the Snyder Act of 1924), which granted citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States after June 2, 1924.

Day 14: Between 1941 and 1945, more than 44,000 American Indians-out of a population of less than 350,000-served with distinction in both the European and Pacific theaters of World War II.




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