Everyone knows the adventures of Pocahontas and Sacagawea, 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.
Generations of children played cowboys and “Indians” without a thought. 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.
In 1915, Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Native American, rode more than 4,000 miles across the United States advocating for one official day of remembrance. It took 75 more 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, Pale Moon Rose presented her dreams for a designated time of remembrance to the Native American Prayer Breakfast at the nation’s Capitol. Later that year, Congress passed 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.