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Native American Heritage Month 2023

Native American Heritage Month honors the diverse cultures and histories of indigenous peoples in the US and its territories.

We observe Native American Heritage Month in November to recognize the achievements and contributions of Native Americans, according to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. 

In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” (Here is the 2023 proclamation.)

Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994.

Learn more about Native Americans:

National Native American Heritage Month | Indian Affairs (bia.gov)

Native American History | National Archives

Cultural Competence in Caring for American Indians and Alaska Natives. June 2023. Cultural Competence in Caring for American Indians and Alaska Natives - StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)

American Indian Education Program (AIEP) in the Fort Worth ISD: American Indian Education Program / American Indian Education Program (fwisd.org)

National Archives at Fort Worth’s American Indian Records on Microfilm: American Indian Records on Microfilm | National Archives

Which indigenous tribes lived in North Texas? Find out with this interactive map: Map shows which Native American tribes lived in North Texas | Fort Worth Star-Telegram

TCU Native American & Indigenous Peoples Initiative: Native American & Indigenous Peoples Initiative (tcu.edu)

Lesson plans from National Education Association.

Medical Advances made by Native Americans:

·      Syringes: Used a sharpened hollowed-out bird bone and animal bladder to hold the fluids. With more study and better equipment syringes have evolved. 

·      Pain Reliever: Used willow-bark tree which has anti-inflammatory chemical called Salicin. This active ingredient (Salicin) is in used in modern medicine.

·      Mouth Wash: They used goldthread to clean out the mouth. Used for children teething by rubbing it onto the gums.

7 Native American Inventions that Revolutionized medicine & Public Health 

Native American Physicians that have impacted medicine:

·      Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte: First Native American Woman in the United States to become a doctor. She opened a hospital on the Omaha Reservation.

·      Dr. Mathuram Santosham: Professor at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He founded and directed center for American Indian Health. He developed the Haemophilus Influenza type b (Hib) vaccine.

Native Americans Who Impacted Healthcare Industry | Concorde Career Colleges


Native American Heritage Month: Dreamcatchers at Reby Cary Youth Library in Fort Worth: Native American Heritage Month: Dreamcatchers at Reby Cary – Welcome to the City of Fort Worth (fortworthtexas.gov)

Native American Heritage Month: Dreamcatchers at Ridglea library in Fort Worth: Native American Heritage Month: Dreamcatchers at Ridglea – Welcome to the City of Fort Worth (fortworthtexas.gov)

Where to celebrate Native American Heritage Month in Dallas-Fort Worth

3rd Annual Native American Heritage Month Contest Powwow

University of Texas at Arlington celebrates Native American Heritage Month

Places in Fort Worth to visit:

Native American History (fortworth.com)

Native American Sites in Sundance Square (fortworth.com)

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month By Visiting Texas Historic Places | THC.Texas.gov - Texas Historical Commission

Did you know?

The first American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1916 in New York. The event culminated an effort by Red Fox James, a member of the Blackfeet Nation, who rode across the nation on horseback seeking approval from 24 state governments to have a day to honor American Indians.

Susan LaFlesche Picotte was a pioneering figure in American medical history, and the first Native American woman to earn a medical degree. Women’s History Month: Honoring the Trailblazers | Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity | Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (upenn.edu)


1.5 million

The number of people who identified as Cherokee in the 2020 Census. Cherokee was the largest American Indian alone or in any combination population group in the United States in 2020.

9.7 million

The nation's American Indian and Alaska Native population alone or in combination in 2020. 


The number of federally recognized Indian tribes in 2023.


The number of single-race American Indian and Alaska Native veterans of the U.S. armed forces in 2022.


U.S. Census Facts for Features: American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month: November 2023: American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month: November 2023 (census.gov)

We will be updating these links throught the month. Have a fact or detail you'd like to include? Let us know by emailing us at internalcommunications@cookchildrens.org.