~ Billie K. Fidlin
On August 3, 1990, President George H. Bush
declared November as Native American
Heritage month, following up on legislation
first proposed in 1976 by Jerry C. Elliott-High
Eagle (Cherokee/Osage) which proposed
Native American Heritage Week.
Pres. Ronald Reagan followed up with proclamation of American Indian Week in 1986.
As for today ~ while gratefully acknowledging the month of November, might we celebrate daily the immense contributions of Native American / First Nations peoples to our country and the world each and every day - striving to learn more and show gratitude. While the list of contributions of 'firsts' is far too long to post here, it includes: major staples in foods - corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peanuts, squashes, pumpkins, tomatoes, beans // intentional raising & use of animals such as turkeys, llamas, honeybees // use of non-edible plants such as cotton and tobacco // use of plants for medicinal purposes - ex: First Nations first discovered the value of eating plants rich in Vitamin C // practices of governance which served as models of representative democracy - and so much more. Awareness in November is great - and the entire year each and every year, so much better!
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