Honoring America’s Origins

November is National Native American Heritage Month, a time for cultural celebration.

Honoring+America%27s+Origins

Amanya Gonzales, Editor-in-Chief

 

November is often linked to thoughts of Thanksgiving. People sit with their family, eating a great feast, and give thanks for everything they are so very grateful for.

As most will recall, Thanksgiving arose from the story of the Pilgrims’ and the Native Americans’ great feast–the one where they sat down and ate together, not as enemies, but as friends after a long and hard, cold winter. However, while the holiday lives on, many Native Americans are being forgotten–and their culture with them.

Few are even aware that this month–Native American Heritage Month–is the month of both recognition and remembrance for these people. Even fewer may know that Native Americans are not just one group of people; there are hundreds of tribes and cultures among this label. Yet, all should know these facts. All should know that this is a time where many reconnecting Native Americans are trying to remember what their ancestors lost and are desperately trying to regain their culture.

As a result, many Native Americans this month will be burning sage and sweetgrass to purify and bless the event, as well as donating to reservations that are in need. Marisol Colon,a sophomore at Elkhart-West, describes this month as, “a time of both spiritual and cultural reconnection.” 

As a person with Chippewa heritage, Colon encourages everyone to donate to these reservations in need, as she finds “many of them are struggling to survive. Not only have our people been greatly reduced and oppressed,” she adds, “but now we are struggling to find and keep the bare necessities needed in order to survive.”

Clearly, this month is important to any Native American, and it is time to give back to culture that gave so much to those who live here now. So, this month, as many are sitting down at the table giving thanks, they have the opportunity to thank these people for their kindness and their culture that inspire the nation today.