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Native American Heritage Month

What is NAHM?

The first American Indian Day in a state was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of New York. In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994.

Native American Heritage Month is a time to intentionally celebrate the unique, rich, and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories of Native peoples while acknowledging the important contributions of Native people. NAHM 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 overcome these challenges.

At Vanderbilt University, the Student Center for Social Justice & Identity curates a calendar of events related to Native American heritage, featuring programs from across campus and the Nashville community.

The most up-to-date digital calendar of events is available online at ___________________.

The print version of the calendar is available below, for pick up in the Multicultural Lounge (Sarratt 335), or for PDF download please click here: NAHM Calendar 2019


This Native American Heritage Month, the SCSJI, NATIVe, VAISES and other campus partners are committed to promoting the importance of narratives and storytelling in Native American culture, as well as narrative changes for the Native community at Vanderbilt and the broader Native community at large. The passing down of history and learnings through storytelling is a fundamental cultural practice in Native American cultures. Moreover, the narrative of Native Americans as a vanishing race is one that NAHM aspires to do away with; Native Americans are in fact thriving and existing in modernity in diverse and important ways. This year, NAHM at Vanderbilt looks to amplify the voices of Native peoples and elevate the understated lived realities of Native peoples.

Part of celebrating Native American Heritage Month is acknowledging the historical legacies that the lands our institutions, hometowns, counties, and states are on, hold.

“A Land Acknowledgment is a formal statement that recognizes the unique and enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.”

Laurier Students’ Public Interest Research Group, Ontario, Canada

Many institutions across the country have adopted the practice of opening events with a statement of acknowledgement that recognizes the lands longer history, and its significance for Native peoples who lived and continue to live upon the territory, and whose practices and spiritualties were tied to the land and continue to develop in relationship to the land and its other inhabitants today (adapted from University of Alberta).

Land Acknowledgements are a way to offer recognition and respect for the historic relationship Native communities have with land, a step in creating public awareness that dismantles a distorted history that perpetuates the erasure of Native communities and legacies in, as well as contributions to, the nation’s past at large, and inspire on-going action and relationships that support larger truth-telling and reconciliation efforts. 

Want to know more about the historical legacy between

your institution, hometown, county, and Native peoples?

Check out:

Diverse Native America: 

Conversations about Different Careers in Indian Country

Date: Friday, 11/8

Time: 7:00PM CST – 8:00PM CST

Location: Rand Hall (308)

Join NATIVe and VAISES for a panel discussion on the diverse career paths within Indian Country today! We will have a fashion designer, a poet, and a geneticist present to discuss their careers, experiences, and shed light on their diverse experiences.





The Art of Resistance

Date: Tuesday, 11/12

Time: 6:30PM CST – 8:00PM CST

Location: Student Life Center – Ballroom

Join NATIVe for an evening of poetry, traditional song and dance, and story telling for the third annual cultural showcase, Art of Resistance, celebrating Native American Heritage Month.






Native American Women Artists at the Frist

Date: Thursday, 11/14

Time: 5:30PM CST – 8:00PM CST

Location: Student Life Center – Ballroom

Join NATIVe and VAISES for dinner and then a bus ride to the Frist Art Museum to attend at talk by one of the featured artists, Rose B. Simpson.

The first 20 people to RSVP will be able to join NATIVe and VAISES for dinner and a brief conversation at the Women’s Center at 5:20 pm. Then transportation to the Frist will be provided to attend Simpson’s talk at 6:30PM and see the exhibit. The Frist is free for college students on Thursday and Friday evenings from 5-9 pm with your student ID.