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Native American Heritage Month (November 2023): Home

A libguide on the identity recognition month for Native Americans and Indigenous Peoples; this guide includes library material, campus events and observances, and a history of the recognition days and month.

Decorative banner

November is Native American Heritage Month!

Also known as American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month!

Click here to see what De Anza is doing to commemorate and observe NAHM at the Equity Office's webpage!

Land Acknowledgement

What is a Land Acknowledgement?

A Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes the unique and enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories. An Acknowledgement honors and expresses gratitude to the indigenous people who originally inhabited this land, which modern society resides on. It is an avenue to obtain understanding of the decisions and paths taken that led to the use of this land. Colonialism colors the use of this land and it continues to define said use, and this Acknowledgement builds mindfulness of the current use of the land.

Map of Bay Area with red line highlighting Muwekma Ohlone ancestral land


Muwekma Ohlone tribe seal

The College humbly works in unceded Ohlone territory, here in De Anza College also known as the South Bay and or Silicon Valley.  We live among the original caretakers and stewards, The Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area. We recognize De Anza College sits on the crux of Raymatush and Tamien tribal lands,. For more information about the Muwekma, please visit their website

Our vision is to continue a beautiful legacy of ancestral wisdom and cultural keeping in relationship to the land with much love and respect. We understand we do this work with the contradiction that we are in occupied territory after the massacre and genocide of Ohlone peoples, with western definitions of political borders.  Thus with more conviction, we are determined to educate ourselves, as staff, faculty, students and as community members to decolonize and deconstruct, to make room for ongoing unschooling, to learn cultural humility, giving life to social justice inside and outside the classroom centering first nation peoples and through relationship building.  In this way, we stay true to an indigenous way of life, to the core value that involves "To All My Relations." 

Opposing Viewpoints

Link to Opposing Viewpoints in context

De Anza has access to Opposing Viewpoints, a database showcasing arguments on singular points. Click the image above to view the entry on Returning Indigenous Lands to Indigenous People.

What is Native American Heritage Month?

November is National American Indian Heritage Month.

America is a vast land of many cultures dating back thousands of years to the original inhabitants of the land. The history and heritage of Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Island communities are inextricably linked to the culture of the United States. It is important to be cognizant of and understand the lasting effects of First Nation groups, colonialism, and modern culture.

American Government and Institutions: The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans.

"The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges." - National Congress of Native Americans

National Geographic has a series of articles & a resource library on Native American Heritage Month. It includes images, articles on Native American groups across the country, and more.

Please see the website here or click on the image above!

History of NAHM

  • 1907 - Senators Charles Curtis of Kansas and Robert Owen of Oklahoma are voted into office, the first representatives of Native American descent.
  • 1916 - New York is the first state to observe "American Indian Day".
  • 1976 - President Gerald Ford announces October 10-16 "Native American Awareness Week" as part of the United States' bicentennial celebrations.
  • 1986 - Congress passes S.J. Res 390, designating November 23 - 30 as "American Indian Week".
  • 1990 - Congress and President George H. W. Bush penned a joint resolution declaring November as "National American Indian Heritage Month" or "Native American Indian Month". This resolution was created with the input of Hawaii senator Daniel Inouye and congressional delegate Eni Faloemavaega of American Samoa.
  • 1993 - Bill Nighthorse Campbell of the North Cheyenne Tribe, representing Colorado, became the third senator of Native American descent. He served as a representative for six years before his election to senatorial office. He was the first seat in the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.
  • 2008 - the commemorative language was updated to include Native Alaskans as part of the Heritage Month.

PBS Videos on Native American History Month

To view more of these videos, please check out PBS's 30 Stories for 30 Days of Native American and Alaskan Heritage Month webpage!

White House Proclamation


The United States of America was founded on an idea:  that all of us are created equal and deserve equal treatment, equal dignity, and equal opportunity throughout our lives.  Throughout our history — though we have always strived to live up to that idea and have never walked away from it — the fact remains that we have fallen short many times.  Far too often in our founding era and in the centuries since, the promise of our Nation has been denied to Native Americans who have lived on this land since time immemorial.

Click here to read the full Proclamation from 2021.