News from NDN Country: National American Indian Heritage Month & More

Today marks the beginning of National American Indian Heritage Month in the United States.

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush approved a House resolution designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month in the United States. In 1991, the Senate passed a resolution, also approved by the president, to designate that November and each November thereafter as National American Indian Heritage Month. This year, the federal government has continued to put out an official site where you can browse some of the events planned for 2013 and find some educational resources.

The American Indian Movement (AIM) and the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media have teamed up to declare November 7th a day of action against Native American mascots. Washington’s NFL team faces off against the Minnesota Vikings that day, and both organizations have asked media outlets to stop using and printing the R-word. While I disagree with some of their arguments, I have chosen to abide by that request and strongly encourage others to do the same if they care not to use racist slurs. In addition to these organizations, the National Congress of American Indians recently released a report on Native American mascots and the harm caused by the continuing use of such mascots.

Two men from the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes married in Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago despite state laws against marriage equality. They are not the first gay couple to marry under their Tribal laws, which make no gender distinctions for marriage. Tribal sovereignty rights allow for many federally recognized Tribes to run counter to state law in some instances. While these couples will not be able to receive state marriage benefits, they may be eligible to receive federal benefits because of the unique relationship of federally recognized Tribes with the federal government

In this piece, an Indigenous child asks people to respect her humanity by not dressing up in a Native American costume for Halloween. I hope everyone reading did not engage in racist stereotypes yesterday with their costumes.

The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) has launched an online film and media catalog of over 1,000 titles by and about Indigenous peoples in the Americas. The collection includes all titles screened by the NMAI’s Native Film + Video Festival since 1995.

Any other news, readers?

By Marena

Marena recently earned her Master of Arts degree in Social Justice & Human Rights & primarily explores social justice issues in the production & consumption of popular mass media. You may find her creating fanworks, testing her hand-eye coordination with beadweaving, flailing over her fictional faves, reading everything from fanfic to theory texts, or watching low budget sci-fi. You can find her writing on Marena ni yukyats.

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