Everyone knows the adventures of Pocahontas and Sacajawea, both brave Native American women who crossed cultural barriers before there was such a term.
Fearless chiefs and warriors carved their names into our history by defending Native American land and lives. Geronimo, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse are legends, but they were real men.
Native American Heritage Month is a celebration of these stories, and much more. This November commemoration of history and culture might not have ever happened, except for the dreams of Pale Moon Rose.
Without a thought, generations of children played cowboys and ‘Indians’. Those children grew up, but their cultural awareness matured more slowly. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that eyes and hearts began to open.
Advocating for an official day of remembrance, Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Native American, rode more than 4,000 miles across the United States in 1915. It took more than 70 years for that awakening to receive national recognition.
Pale Moon Rose helped establish the Native American Heritage Foundation in 1973. Over the years, the organization worked with individuals and non-profits forging bonds of acceptance and awareness.
In 1990, during the Native American Prayer Breakfast at the nation’s Capitol, Pale Moon Rose presented her dreams for an official time of remembrance. Later that year, Congress succeeded in passing a landmark bill establishing Native American Heritage Month.
This overdue recognition of Native American history and culture is also the celebration of those who made it possible through their dedicated vision. It is a celebration of their dreams made real.