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Native American Heritage Month

In Kent School District (KSD), we acknowledge our district rests upon the ancestral lands of the descendants of the Duwamish and Upper Puyallup people who came to be known as the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, who historically lived throughout the area between the Cascade Mountains and Puget Sound. We are grateful to live and work as guests on these lands with the descendants and members of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, who have stewarded this land throughout the generations. We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced occupation of their territory. We honor and recognize the many diverse indigenous people connected to this land on which we gather, and we aspire to uphold our responsibilities as guests on their ancestral land according to their example of strength and resilience.

Each November in KSD, we celebrate Native American heritage and history through learning, reading books by Native authors such as Vine Deloria Jr., Joseph Bruchac, and Sherman Alexie or researching the Native American Tribes in our state. Great storytellers reside here such as Roger Fernandes, Sondra Segundo Cunningham, and all around the Coast Salish region, also, many fabulous Coast Salish artists such as Shaun Peterson, Louie Gong, and Preston Singletary, amongst others.

During Native American Heritage Month, we also celebrate Native American Heritage Day on the day after Thanksgiving. This day was nationally recognized in 2008 by a resolution from former President George H.W. Bush. In 2010, President Barack Obama declared November as Native American Heritage Month and the day after Thanksgiving that year as Native American Heritage Day. In 2013 Washington State Senator John McCoy (D-retired) of the Tulalip Tribe, proposed and passed House Bill 1014, honoring Washington State’s Native American Heritage Day, the Fourth Friday of each November.

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum joined efforts to make available exhibits and collections, audio and video recordings, and over 18,000 images from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Explore, learn about, and remember the great heritage of the Native American people.

Here are additional resources to help you explore Native American Heritage and Culture: