Native American Heritage Month

National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month celebrates and honors the history and culture of the native peoples of America. This month-long celebration recognizes the continuing contribution of native peoples.

Native American Heritage Month 2017

Credit: Public Domain: Smithsonian


Chief Joseph

By: Jennifer Beck
Chief Joseph led the Nez Perce tribe in an effort to keep its homeland.

Chief Wilma Mankiller

By: Susannah Abbey
Chief Wilma Mankiller was the first woman to serve as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Chief Oren Lyons

By: Aibanrihun Lyngdoh
Chief Oren Lyons is an internationally venerated advocate for preserving biodiversity.

Corbin Harney

Corbin Harney has spread a message of peace throughout the world.

Sandra Begay-Campbell

By: Sue from California
Sandra Begay-Campbell is a Native American engineer who brings solar-powered energy to the Navajo reservation.

Sarah Winnemucca

By: Isabelle from Wallingford
Sarah Winnemucca was an advocate for Paiute rights and the first Native American woman to publish a book.

Christine Quintasket

By: Catherine from Trumbull
Christine Quintasket was the first published Native American woman author.

Will Rogers

By: Rebecca Miller
Will Rogers was a beloved humorist and humanitarian.

Maria Tallchief

By: Rebecca Miller
Maria Tallchief was a Native American ballerina known worldwide for her outstanding performances.


By: Lydia Ratna
Sacajawea guided Lewis and Clark across the northwestern territories.


Sequoyah invented the Cherokee alphabet, which enabled Cherokees to record their history.

Handsome Lake

"When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice." --old Native American saying

Crazy Horse

By: John
Crazy Horse bravely fought for the freedom of the Sioux Nation.

Chief Standing Bear

By: T.D. from Eden Prairie
Chief Standing Bear argued successfully for Native Americans to have the right of habeas corpus.

Jane Mt. Pleasant

By: Claudia Herrera Hudson
Jane Mt. Pleasant is an agricultural scientist who looks to the past to meet today's farming needs.

Billy Mills

By: Dona from Spokane, Washington
Billy Mills is an Olympic gold medal runner who encourages Native American youth to believe in the power of their dreams.

Edmonia Lewis

By: Jerrilyn & Madeline Jacobs
Edmonia Lewis defied restrictions on black women and achieved respect in the art community.

Ranald MacDonald

By: Kelley from Spokane
Ranald MacDonald was a Native American/Scot wayfarer who helped open up Japan to the West.

Chief Arvol Looking Horse

Chief Arvol Looking Horse appeals to indigenous voices across the world to bring peace.

Baje Whitethorne

By: Olin Smith
Baje Whitethorne is a celebrated Navajo painter and author.

Howard Luke

By: Sarah from Fairbanks

Jim Thorpe

By: Bryce from Grand Rapids, Michigan
Jim Thorpe was one of the world's greatest athletes.

Ralph Walter Perdue

By: Clara from Fairbanks
Ralph Walter Perdue helped found the Fairbanks Native Association, advocating for local natives.

Chief John Ross

By: Isaiah & Zack from Hixson, Tennessee
Chief John Ross, Tennessee Hero


Smoke That Travels [Trailer]

Producer: Kayla Briët
What happens when a story is forgotten? I'm making a film about my dad, Gary Wiski-ge-amatyuk, my family, and what it means to be Native American today.

Mni Wikoni ~ Water is Life

Producer: Charles McMahon
The MY HERO project celebrates the water protectors of planet earth.

Yellow Woman - A Hero Report Excerpt

Producer: Betty Bailey & Camille Manybeads Tso
Camille Manybeads Tso tells an inspiring true story of Native American Heritage.

Deep Bonds: People of The Mattaponi

Producer: Jason Harwell, Jesse Bogue, Ben Franz
The people of the Mattaponi are connected to their river in more ways than one.

Stories of TRUST - Alaska

Producer: Christi Cooper-Kuhn, Katie Lose-Gilbertson, Kelly ...
Nelson Kanuk of Alaska is taking a case to court on behalf of the Alaskan environment.

Stories of TRUST - Arizona

Producer: Christi Cooper-Kuhn, Katie Lose-Gilbertson, Kelly ...
Young Navajo artist Jaime Lynn Butler campaigns to save the environment of her beloved American Southwest.

The Arctic Garden

Producer: Will Parinello/Tom Dusenberry
Caroline Cannon, an Inupiat indigenous leader, takes aim at offshore oil drilling that threatens her people and the biodiversity in the Arctic Sea.

Pass the PEACE

Producer: Justin Cohan
A Native American tradition is carried through many languages at TAFT High SCHOOL - Pass the Peace!

Chief Attungowruk

By: Michelle from Fairbanks, Alaska

Pitaseolak Ashonna

By: Annie from Kenora
Inspirational Aboriginal Inuit Artist

Katherine Peter

By: Sheena from Fairbanks

Tommy Prince

By: Kris from Ontario
"The most decorated Native soldier in the Canadian Army"

Native American Spirituality

By: Jennifer Beck
Native American Spirituality comes in myriad forms.

Kateri Tekakwitha

By: Marlene from Leawood, Kansas
Kateri Tekakwitha is a Roman Catholic saint of the Algonquin-Mohawk tribe.


By: Andrew from Wallingford

The Buffalo

The Buffalo has a special place in North American history and culture.


Credit: Robert Shetterly

Black Hawk, Indian Warrior

By: Kay Smith, Artist Laureate of Illinois

Oren Lyons

By: Robert Shetterly

- Native American Heritage -

- Native American Heritage -

Credit: Rex A. Begaye

AP News Stories


By: BLAKE NICHOLSON, Associated Press

Pipeline protesters vow to stay camped on federal land

By: JAMES MacPHERSON, Associated Press


Edmonia Lewis

Please enjoy this reading of our MY HERO story Edmonia Lewis by Jerrilyn & Madeline Jacobs, read by Susan Gabriel Bunn.

Artist Hero: Maria Tallchief
by Rebecca Miller
"If anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add but when there is no longer anything to take away"