Nation’s Network Ready to Commemorate National Native American Heritage Month
In 1990, Congress passed a joint resolution, signed into law by President George H.W. Bush, designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month, now known as National Native American Heritage Month.
During the month, Nation’s Network, the Exchange’s American Indian/Alaskan Native Special Emphasis Program, encourages stores and associates to make connections to Native American cultures and bring awareness to the commemoration by inviting Native American vendors to display their wares in Exchange malls.
“We have a lot of activities planned,” said environmental Engineer Robert Largent III, Nation’s Network program manager. “We’re trying to make this interesting for everyone.”
Stores are also encouraged to share the connections their installations and communities have to American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian heritage, history and way of life, and to consider connecting the month’s theme to other events in November, including Veterans Day.
For the first time since 2020, Nation’s Network is also encouraging stores to participate in Rock Your Mocs, which will take place the week of Nov. 13-19. During the worldwide social media event, associates are encouraged to submit photos of moccasins being worn or displayed. Please submit photos to [email protected] and [email protected]. Photos featuring Rock Your Moccasins T-shirts or turquoise awareness ribbons will also be accepted.
Other photos honoring the month, including pictures of pow wows or carnivals featuring Exchange involvement, can also be sent to the above email addresses.
An Exchange truck featuring a Nation’s Network trailer wrap on the back door will be at the Edwards Air Force Exchange on Nov. 2, and at the Ellsworth AFB Exchange on Nov. 18.
Although National American Indian Heritage Month was established in 1990, its history began well before that. The first American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1916 in New York. The event was the culmination of an effort by Red Fox James, a member of the Blackfeet Nation, who rode across the nation on horseback seeking approval from 24 state governments to have a day to honor American Indians. Since the joint resolution in 1990, similar proclamations have been issued every year since 1994 to recognize what is now called Native American Heritage Month.
There are 574 federally recognized Indian Nations plus other tribes located throughout the United States who are recognized by their respective state governments. To find a tribe near your installation, click here.
Alan French, senior vice president, supply chain, is the executive champion of Nation’s Network. Tiffany Serrano, replenishment/allocation specialist, is assistant program manager. To learn more about Nation’s Network, click here.