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Native American Heritage Month - NOVEMBER 2023: NAHM Information

This celebratory guide is hosted by the SU Libraries Diversity & Inclusion Committee, with 2023 assistance from SU Libraries staff members Mou Chakraborty and Stephen Ford.

NOVEMBER is Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month, or as it is commonly referred to, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month, had its official beginning with a 1990 landmark bill, where President George H. W. Bush honored America’s tribal people by designating November as “National American Indian Heritage Month.” The month is a time to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, histories, and important contributions of Native people.

Land Acknowledgement

Salisbury University Libraries acknowledges that we are situated on the traditional lands of the Wicomico peoples. The University occupies the past lands of the Tundotank Reservation (Tony Tank) created during colonization of the Eastern Shore. In recognition, residence halls on the campus are named for the major waterways of Maryland and were the lands of the Wicomico, Pokomoke, Nanticoke, Manokin, and Choptank tribes. With gratitude for the land itself and the indigenous people who have stewarded it throughout the generations, we commit to continue to learn how to be better caretakers of the land we inhabit today.

The Native Wicomicos by Dana Kester-McCabe

Find out a bit about Delmarva's Native American history.

From The Delmarva Almanac, October 14, 2021

Wicomico County History by George H. Corddry, Salisbury: Peninsula Press, 1981
Eastern Shore Indians of Virginia and Maryland by Helen C. Rountree and Thomas E. Davidson, Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1997

Maryland at a Glance, Native Americans

Regional Information

Native American chiefs of the Eastern Shore of Maryland rekindle knowledge of culture to give fuller picture of Delmarva history.
Kaisha Young Kaisha Young, Salisbury Daily Times, Published November 21, 2019.

The Invention of Thanksgiving

An interview with curator Paul Chaat Smith (Comanche), from the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian exhibition "Americans."

Wicomico County Flag & Seal

Wicomico County Flag      Wicomico Couty Seal

The official Wicomico County flag and seal pay homage to the original Native American inhabitants of the lands. The county name Wicomico derives from the Algonquin meaning for "people of (the place) where the land ends.”

DID YOU KNOW? Facts for American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

The first American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1916 in New York. The event culminated 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. In 1990, more than seven decades later, then-President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional resolution designating the month of November “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations have been issued every year since 1994 to recognize what is now called “American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.” This Facts for Features presents statistics for American Indians and Alaska Natives, one of the six major race categories defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

The following facts are possible thanks to responses to the U.S. Census Bureau’s surveys. We appreciate the public’s cooperation as we continuously measure America’s people, places and economy.

3.7 Million
The nation's American Indian and Alaska Native population alone in 2020. This population group identifies as AIAN only and did not identify with any other race. Source: 2020 Census

10.1 Million
The projected American Indian and Alaska Native population alone or in combination with other race groups on July 1, 2060. They would constitute 2.5% of the total population. Source: 2017 National Population Projections

The number of distinct, federally recognized American Indian reservations in 2022, including federal reservations and off-reservation trust land. Source: American Indian Reservations, Statistical Areas, and Alaska Native Village Statistical Areas

The number of federally recognized Indian tribes in 2022. Source: Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)

The number of single-race American Indian and Alaska Native veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces in 2021. Source: 2021 American Community Survey

More Stats

See a detailed profile of the American Indian and Alaska Native population alone or in combination with one or more other races from the 2020 Census and the 2021 American Community Survey. Statistics include:

  • Families.
  • Housing.
  • Languages.
  • Education.
  • Jobs.
  • Income and poverty.
  • Health insurance.


Native American Heritage Month Website

Resources from the Library of Congress, National Archives, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and others

Reclaiming Native Truth

Reclaiming Native Truth is a national effort to foster cultural, social and policy change by empowering Native Americans to counter discrimination, invisibility and the dominant narratives that limit Native opportunity, access to justice, health and self-determination. Reclaiming Native Truth’s goal is to move hearts and minds toward greater respect, inclusion and social justice for Native Americans.