November is American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. It is a time to honor the culture, accomplishments, and contributions of Native Americans. When children acknowledge and appreciate diverse cultures, they are helping to build a community of belonging and inclusion. Celebrate with your child this month by trying some of our ideas below.
1. Read books about American Indian and Alaska Native characters
Books are a wonderful way to expand your child’s awareness and appreciation of diverse cultures. A few of our favorites to celebrate American Indians and Alaska Natives include, Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard, We are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, and Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse.
2. Make a traditional meal
The diet of American Indians and Alaska Natives included vegetables found on the land around them. This month, cook the traditional “three sisters” (corn, squash, beans) soup. Encourage your child to help measure, scoop and pour the ingredients.
3. Explore your region’s resources
Check your local area for festivals or museums with Native American exhibits. Libraries and schools also often host events, such as dance performances and puppet shows for younger children. Afterwards, ask your child about some of the favorite things they saw.
4. Take a nature walk
Explain to your child that connecting with nature was an important part of Native American culture. November is a great time to get outdoors and take a walk together. Talk about the things you see, hear, and smell around you.