President Obama has signed the proclamation officially making Native American Heritage Day, November 26th. We now have our own federal holiday. To go along with this day is the month long celebration in November of Native American Heritage Month. Since there are 30 days in November, here are 30 ways to celebrate our heritage.
- Invite a Native American Guest speaker from a local tribe to come to your child’s school to teach something about their tribe.
- Make dream catchers together and discuss their meaning
- Research the tribe indigenous to your area and have a presentation in front of your family
- Learn a song from the local tribe
- Learn a round dance.
- Make a clap stick
- Learn to braid.
- Request that offensive songs not be taught at your child’s school, i.e. 10 little Indian boys.
- Be the Native American guest speaker at a school.
- Sponsor a child that wants to be a powwow dancer.
- Teach a child to bead using pony beads.
- Teach a child to make a pine needle basket.
- Make frybread dogs with your children instead of chili dogs or corn dogs
- Bring in Native American coloring pages and storybooks to your child's for them to keep.
- Start a petition to make your local tribe's language an available language course at your child's high school.
- Add the following movies to your Netflix cue: Grand Avenue, The Exiles, Dance Me Outside, Doe Boy, Incident at Oglala, Smoke Signals.
- Read one or more of the following books: Ceremony by Leslie Silko, Love Medicine by Louise Eldrich, Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson, Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie
- Attend the powwow at California State University, Northridge on November 27th. You can tell them I sent you.
- Donate food to your local Tribal TANF organization.
- Make moccasins for your family.
- Carry your baby in a cradleboard or buy one for someone else.
- Support an American Indian film festival.
- Print President Obama's Proclamation and post it at work. Request November 26th off if you are Native American
- Start a Native American Heritage Day tradition, i.e. gift giving, dinner etc.
- Re-enter the powwow circle if you haven't done so in years.
- Make a shawl for yourself or someone else
- Make Native American Heritage Day shirts for everyone in your family to wear.
- Make a turtle or gourd rattle for a new baby
- Buy a Pendleton Blanket for an elder
- Cook a Native American meal for your family. Here’s a recipe to get you started…
Choctaw Catfish (Serves 4)
- 4 (4 ounce) fillets catfish
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 tablespoon onion salt
- 1 tablespoon steak seasoning
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- In a medium bowl, place catfish fillets in buttermilk. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator 45 minutes.
- In a resealable plastic bag, mix cornmeal, onion salt, and steak seasoning. One at a time, drain catfish fillets and place in the bag to coat with the cornmeal mixture.
- Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Fry each fillet 7-10 minutes per side, or until exterior is lightly browned and flesh is easily flaked with a fork. Drain on paper towels.