American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

Oct 31, 2007 | Archives, Blog

Tomorrow marks the beginning of American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. We celebrate the contributions that American Indians and Alaska and Hawaii Natives have made in American culture in the past, but especially in the present.

Unfortunately, due to lack of contact with Natives or inaccurate views about Natives based on reflections of the past, many Americans do not have an accurate picture of Native peoples today. Many buy into negative stereotypes about Natives, such as imagery about alcohol and drug abuse, or base their ideas of Natives on historical sepia-toned imagery. As Native leaders, we need to work hard not just this month, but every month, to share the good news about Natives and their modern-day successes and leaders in our community. We have pharmacists, doctors, lawyers, teachers, businessmen and women, and more that are leading our communities and rebuilding them, for Natives and non-Natives alike.

Tribal colleges are ground zero for the renaissance of Native peoples. Tribal colleges serve both Indian and non-Indian communities as centers for learning for children, college students, and adults; gathering places for the community; health centers, pharmacies, libraries, art galleries, computer centers, Native language centers, and much, much more.

This renaissance didn’t happen overnight. The tribal college movement has been ongoing since 1969, with the founding of Diné College, which paved the way.

Perhaps changing the image of Natives with Americans won’t happen overnight, either. But as we proudly claim our Native birthright while celebrating our past and present successes we will change that. We must keep our eyes on the task at hand: educate our minds and our spirits and lead our communities to succeed. Not only do we exist, but we excel. Spread the good word!

Recent Blog Posts

American Indian College Fund Develops Transfer Data Guidebook for TCUs

American Indian College Fund Develops Transfer Data Guidebook for TCUs

The American Indian College Fund (College Fund) has published a “Transfer Data Guidebook for Tribal Colleges and Universities.” The guidebook is the culmination of three years of research conducted under a $625,000 grant from the Educational Credit Management Corporation, which examined the transfer landscape of the seven Montana tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) to improve student achievement by creating a cohesive transfer system.

American Indian College Fund Partners with Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies to Enhance Native Arts Programs

American Indian College Fund Partners with Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies to Enhance Native Arts Programs

The American Indian College Fund (College Fund) announced new efforts to enhance Native arts curriculum development programs at six tribal colleges and universities (TCUs). Each of the participating TCUs will receive $100,000 to enrich their curricula by integrating Indigenous education values and incorporate Native knowledge, language, and cultural practices. The project will also help to expand institutional capacity, developing or revising academic courses, minors, and certificate and degree programs.