A Spotlight on National Native American Heritage Month

Monday, November 1, 2021

November is National Native American Heritage Month, which pays tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans and Alaska Natives. 

According to Native American Heritage Month, the history of Native American Month actually dates back to 1915 when Red Fox James, a Native American of the Blackfoot nation, rode a horse from state to state to seek approval from 24 separate state governments for a day to honor the “American Indian.” December 14, 1915, he presented the 24 endorsements to the White House; however, there was no record of a proclamation.

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November “National American Indian Heritage Month.” 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.

Nationally, Nov. 26 is recognized as Native American Heritage Day.

“As the Native American liaison for PVSchools, I am proud of our Native American students. This brings a heightened awareness of our Native American students’ cultures, histories, and their inclusion in our school communities. This is an exciting time for our district,” says James Fabian.

Native American Education Programs in PVSchools

In 2002, PVSchools established the Native American Education Program due to the growing population of Native American students enrolled in the district. The program goal is to increase academic achievement for Native American students and their increased involvement.

PVSchools has 193 registered Native American students enrolled in its schools.

Hoop of Learning

Hoop of Learning is a scholarship-based, high school to college bridge program for Native American students in ninth-12th-grades. Students enrolled in the program receive both high school and college credit. The program increases high school graduation and retention rates and increases Native American enrollment and participation in college. The Hoop of Learning program is offered through a partnership between PVSchools and Paradise Valley Community College. Learn more about Hoop of Learning. 

Native American School Clubs

Several schools have established Native American Clubs, including Greenway Middle School, Horizon High School, North Canyon High School, Paradise Valley High School, Pinnacle High School, and Shadow Mountain High School.

Students meet with their individual schools during club meetings to discuss current issues and topics important to Native American students. The club members also determine what cultural, social, and service projects they will undertake during the school year. The Native American clubs are a visible presence and active voice for Native American students at their schools. The Native American clubs are a vehicle to help Native American students’ inclusion into the school communities and help raise non-native students’ awareness and education of the history and culture of their Native American peers.

Family/Community Meetings & Events

Throughout the school year, PVSchools hosts several events for parents. This time is dedicated to community building, learning new information, and hosting guest speakers. All Native American families are welcome and encouraged to attend.