Monday, November 10, 2014
2014 American Indian Heritage Month
Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute Poster for 2014
The Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE) developed the theme for this year’s National American Indian Heritage Month observance products: “Native Pride and Spirit: Yesterday, Today and Forever.”
Mr. Robert Brown, DEOMI (Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute) illustrator, describes the artistic design of this year’s National American Indian Heritage Month Observance poster: “A people and their culture are often preserved and communicated through artifacts, ancient writing and art. I felt the featured items were inspiring representatives of the rich and lasting history of American Indian and Native Alaskan culture. The top and bottom borders were taken from a pictorial notation of an Ojibwa music board found in the archives of the Library of Congress. The bird carving from a single piece of wood is a rare war helmet from the Tlingit people of southeast Alaska. The helmet, rediscovered in December 2013 in the Springfield Science Museum archives, is one of approximately only 95 left in existence today. Beginning as protection for Tlingit warriors in battle, war helmets today serve the Tlingit as healing reminders of their rich and ancient history,” said Mr. Brown.
In accordance with Public Law 101-343, National American Indian Heritage Month honors the many contributions and accomplishments of American Indians and Alaska Natives. During November, we remember the legacy of the first Americans and celebrate their vibrant culture and heritage. Since the Revolutionary War, Native Americans and Alaska Natives have played a vital role in our country’s freedom and security. They proudly serve in all departments of the United States Government today.
From the Aleutian Islands to the Florida Everglades, American Indians and Alaska Natives have contributed immensely to our country's heritage. During National American Indian Heritage Month, we commemorate their enduring achievements and reaffirm the vital role American Indians and Alaska Natives play in enriching the character of our Nation.
In 1976, the United States’ bicentennial year, Congress passed a resolution authorizing President Ford to proclaim a week in October as “Native American Awareness Week.” On October 8, 1976, he issued his presidential proclamation doing so. Since then, Congress and the President have observed a day, a week or a month in honor of the American Indian and Alaska Native people. And while the proclamations do not set a national theme for the observance, they do allow each federal department and agency to develop their own ways of celebrating and honoring the nation’s American Indian heritage.