By Celine Doblon, PBS SoCal Marketing and Communications intern
November is Native American Heritage Month, and the perfect time to honor the many important historical contributions of Indigenous people. Before it became a month-long celebration, Native American Heritage had been recognized as a national holiday on the second Saturday in May (starting in 1916) after the urging of several prominent Native American leaders, including Dr. Arthur C. Parker, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, and Red Fox James. In 1990 President George Bush declared a month long observance every November.
There are plenty of ways you can celebrate the achievements and influence of Native Americans this month. Here are a couple of activities and events to explore the rich Native history and culture.
2018 NAVA Veterans Appreciation and Heritage Pow Wow
On November 10-11, the South Lake community and the Native American Veterans Association will come together to celebrate veterans and Native American culture at South Gate Park. This weekend event will feature resource programs, veteran roll call, raffles, cake walk, storytelling, children’s crafts, food vendors, Native-made crafts, free haircuts provided by El Monte Institute of Beauty, and Aztec Dance Group (Danza Azteca Xochipilli and flute performances). Admission and parking are free.
2018 LACCNAIC Pow Wow
The 3rd annual LANAICC Pow Wow will happen on November, 17 at Grand Park in Los Angeles. This day-long celebration starts at 10:00 a.m. and features arts and crafts vendors, dance contests, native foods, and hoop dancers. It’s a drug- and alcohol-free, family-friendly event.
Autry’s American Indian Arts Marketplace
The Autry is hosting the largest Native American arts fair in Southern California November 10-11, featuring 200 Native American artists from more than 40 nations. In addition to the art, enjoy a full weekend of food, activities, demonstrations, performances, and the annual Short Play Festival from Native Voices. Admission includes special screenings of KCET’s Tending Nature, a series that reveals how California’s Native people have tended this land for millennia. The event is free for Autry Members, $14 Adults, $10 Seniors (60+) and Students (with ID), free for active military personnel and veterans (with ID), $6 Children, and free for Children Under 3.
If you’d rather celebrate Native American Heritage Month at home, PBS SoCal has you covered. Here are some suggested programs fit for the occasion:
- Stream full episodes of Native America (pictured above), a four part series that explores the culture of America’s First Peoples, with two new episodes airing on November, 13.
- America ReFramed’s Little Dream Catchers episode, centers around kindergarteners in Minnesota who must learn about their Native cultural identity while preparing for life in the classroom.
- Dreamer, an episode of Angeleno, introduces us to a Native American veteran hairdresser, and offers a rare look at the Los Angeles homeless population.
- Learners’ Between Worlds showcases Brittany, a young girl torn between the two worlds of her Navajo reservation and her school in Albuquerque.
- And if you’d like a little fiction, check out Bloodlines, a Film School Short about a Native American family’s struggles against the wilderness, and efforts to build a life.