November is coming to an end as Thanksgiving approaches with a day of feasting, gratitude, and family. November, however, is also a time to remember the rich history of Native Americas. In Montgomery County, students, parents, and teachers alike all celebrate our county’s rich ethnic and cultural diversity by commemorating this month as American Indian Month.
American Heritage Month began at the turn of of the 21st century in order to give recognition to the valuable contributions Native Americans and Alaskan Native Americans made to the growth and progress of the United States. Native American heritage goes back far before the formation of the United States, yet the efforts to permanently designate a day as Indian American History Month have sustained over the last century. Americans of all races have joined to honor the contributions, sacrifices, and cultural legacy that the Native Americans have made.
Montgomery County hosts a variety of different events, festivals, and activities in order to celebrate their rich cultural heritage. For instance, Gaithersburg recently scheduled its fourth annual American Indian and Alaska Native American Heritage Month Social Powwow on November 14th in collaboration with the Indian Health Service Headquarter’s Employee’s Association. The powwow featured storytelling, traditional songs, dances, a hand drum singing competition, and much more. The event is always open and free to the public, allowing people of all ages honor the rich heritage of the Native Americans. “The Native American Heritage Month is important in reminding us of the help and contributions Native Americans made when our country’s founding fathers first came to the New World,” said Simon Liu, a junior at Richard Montgomery High School.
It is important to recognize and honor the sacrifices the Native Americans made, and learn more about their culture and history that still exists today. As students around the county are enjoying turkey and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, they should make sure to take a few moments to remember and honor Native American culture, tradition, and ways and concepts of life. Whether by going to a museum or just doing some research, students can each enrich their lives by paying respect to different cultures and societies.
Article by MoCo Student staff writer Kyle Zhu of Richard Montgomery High School