National Native American Heritage Month

Written by: Emily Vargo

November is Native American Heritage Month. This month we take the time to celebrate the rich and diverse culture, traditions, history, and significant contributions of Native people.

In 1986 Congress requested that President Ronald Reagan sign a proclamation to have November 23-30 be National American Indian Week. This proclamation recognized Native Americans as the first people to inhabit the land.

In 1990 Congress requested that the president, George W.H. Bush, issue a proclamation to make November National American Indian Heritage Month. Then in 2009, the name changed to National Native American Heritage Month.

Over the years, many states and many cities, and many lakes have named places after Native Americans. Lakes that have been named after Native American tribes are Lake Erie and Lake Huron. At one time Bellefontaine, Ohio was known as Blue Jacket’s Town.

The state of Ohio has a significant amount of Native American history. Many tribes used to live here at one time like the Shawnee, Chippewa, and Delaware. Blue Jacket and Tecumseh, leaders of Shawnee tribes, were actually in the battle at Fallen Timbers.

At one point in time, there were five different tribes that lived in the Defiance area. The tribes were; Kiikaapoi, Peoria, Kaskaskia, Potawatomi, and Myaamia.

To find more information check out There is also a list of virtual events and activities to learn more about Native American Heritage Month. By texting your zip code to 855-917-5263, you get info on what tribes were initially present in the area. If you would rather, go here and enter your zip code or city and state, and it will generate whose land you are on.

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