Native American Heritage Day
MICHAEL K. YOUNG
November 27, 2020
Per my Gratitude message last week, I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving and are enjoying the holiday weekend!
Thirty years ago, President George H.W. Bush approved a joint resolution of Congress, designating November as Native American Heritage Month. He later issued a proclamation noting that, “Today Americans of all ages recognize the many outstanding achievements of this country’s original inhabitants and their descendants.”
Nearly two decades later, President George W. Bush signed into law another bill that established Native American Heritage Day, which we celebrate each year on the fourth Friday in November. On this day we remember the history, culture and contributions of indigenous people throughout our university, our communities and our nation.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are currently 574 federally recognized tribes across the nation. Nearly 7 million people are of American Indian and Alaska Native heritage alone, or in combination with other ethnicities. Almost 143,000 of those descendants have also served our nation as veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.
At Texas A&M, student George Hass ’22 is following in that great tradition. A descendant of the Creek and Nez Perce tribes, he is also a member of our Corps of Cadets. In recent years, he has immersed himself in his family’s rich history by handcrafting his own regalia and participating in traditional pow-wows.
During Native American Heritage Month, and on Native American Heritage Day, Texas A&M salutes and thanks all of our indigenous students, former students, faculty and staff who embrace their distinctive heritage and contribute to our university community.
Michael K. Young