Editorial: Happy Native American History Month!


EWU senior, Alfred La Pier poses between dances at the Spirit of the Eagle Powwow. The ceremony was a gathering of tribes across the Pacific Northwest to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American Indian Studies program at EWU | Erica Bullock for The Easterner

By Tahrae Bear Eagle, Contributor

It’s the beginning of November. When the spookiness of Halloween begins to fade and more wholesome autumn, thanksgiving vibes take their place. 

But there is one element may people forget about another important part of November, which is Native American Heritage Month. An incredibly underrated celebration of each North American tribe’s cultures and traditions, as well as the achievements and contributions of Native American citizens.

Unfortunately,  Native American Heritage Month isn’t as popular or well known, unlike Pride month or Black History month, or even Hispanic Heritage Month or Asian and Pacific Islander Month. NAHM isn’t acknowledged in classrooms, or on TV, or broadcasted and advertised everywhere you turn.

The good news is that more and more organizations, museums, and universities are acknowledging NAHM and actively doing things for this month. Such as walkathons, are honoring specific Native Americans for their talents, and educating the public on certain tribes. But it’s also up to you guys to spread the word and make it real by acknowledging it. Start by supporting Native-owned businesses, such as B.Yellowtail, Beyond Buckskin Boutique, SheNative, Trickster Company, Ataumbi Metals, NotAbove, TPMOCS, Bedré Fine Chocolate, Michelle Brown, and Eighth Generation. And Native American charities, like the Lakota Law Project, Native American Rights Fund, Native Wellness Institute, Warrior Women Project, Sitting Bull College, First Nations COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, and The Redhawk Native American Art Council, or just your local Native American Club. 

Even something as small as checking out TV shows, films, and books. Be it fiction or nonfiction, just educate yourself on the hardships that Indigenous people have gone through and continue to go through, as well as our triumphs. Lift indigenous voices without acting like you’re the real hero. 

Most of all, learn to see us as people. People with thoughts, emotions, desires, and imperfections are just like you. Learn to listen, and acknowledge what we have to say. And to recognize the world that is good to you isn’t always good to us. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be better.