Native American Heritage Month
By Jennifer Fogarty, communications content manager
Honoring the culture, accomplishments and contributions of Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiian people as the first inhabitants of the United States.
According to the Library of Congress, the first American Indian Day was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of New York. Presently, several states have designated Columbus Day as Native American Day or Indigenous Peoples’ Day in October. Still, it continues to be a day that is observed without any recognition as a national legal holiday.
Native American Heritage Month has evolved from its beginnings as a week-long celebration in 1986, when President Reagan proclaimed the week of November 23–30, 1986, as American Indian Week. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 National American Indian Heritage Month. Every President since 1994 has issued annual proclamations designating the month of November as the time to celebrate the culture, accomplishments and contributions of Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiian people as the first inhabitants of the United States.
At La Jolla Country Day School:
Upper School hosted the first-ever Indigenous Peoples' Day celebration on October 14, 2020, featuring keynote speaker Jenna Hernandez ’21. Watch the recording here.
Middle School participated in special lessons in eighth-grade history class.
During their assembly on October 23, Lower School shared a video created by Upper Schoolers on why we celebrate Indigenous People’s Day. It was also incorporated into their essential questions program with “Who are we together?” Students explore their identity and their inherent value and worth as individuals. This means recognizing the dignity and worth of all those around us, looking beyond our focus on self to learn from and enjoy those around us.