This year’s theme is “Honoring Our Nations: Building Strength Through Understanding.
There are hundreds of tribes across the nation, with over 570 federally recognized. They are the Indigenous Peoples of the United States – 5 million strong!
This is a time to remember and honor the important contributions of Native people. We celebrate their rich and diverse cultures, traditions and histories. Native people have historically faced unique challenges and those continue into the present. Native American Heritage Month encourages us to learn about their history, which is intertwined with ours, and how they have worked to overcome these challenges. Read more…
Our Native American sisters and brothers have contributed to our country in a multitude of ways. They are Pulitzer Prize-winning authors like Navarro Scott Momaday (Kiowa), Oscar winning actors such as Wes Studi (Cherokee), and the first Native American Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo (Muscogee Creek).
Char Teters (Spokane), protested against the use of Native American mascots and stereotypes used in media and advertising. John Herrington (Chickasaw) was the first Native American to walk in space. Notah Begay (Navajo, San Felipe and Isleta) was the first to join the PGA tour. Winona LaDuke (Mississippi Band of the Anishinabeg), graduated from Harvard, authored several books and currently works on restoring land and culture.
And then, there are those we may never know. The water bearers, those who chop and carry wood for sacred fires, the caretakers for the Elders, the Elders who care for the children, the women (and men) who prepare food for ceremony, the fire keepers, the Elders and Wisdom Keepers who hold the memory of their language, songs, prayers and medicine, sharing them with the next generations. They are the foundation that keeps these cultures alive and thriving.
We are honored by the guidance offered by Oren Lyons (Onondaga)as a member of our Elders Council and first Wisdom Fellowship Award recipient (2012). We’re inspired by the lifetime of leadership and community service of our Wisdom Fellowship Award recipients Tom Porter (Mohawk) 2019, Larry Merculieff (Aleut)2017, and Caleen Sisk (Winnemem Wintu) 2015 . We are grateful to work in partnership through our grants program Protecting the Sacred, with programs supporting the continuance of Native American wisdom and traditions, impacting hundreds of community members, for generations to come.
Please join Sacred Fire Foundation in expressing deep gratitude to our Native American sisters and brothers for their incredible resilience, contributions to our cultural heritage, and for reminding us that everything is sacred.
“In our bodies we carry the blood of our ancestors and the seeds of the future generations. We are a living conduit to all life. When we contemplate the vastness of the interwoven network that we are tied to, our individual threads of life seem far less fragile. We are strengthened by who we come from and inspired by the those who will follow. ~ Sacred Instructions; Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change.” ― Sherri Mitchell Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset