Welcome to Native American Heritage Month at the Department of the Interior! National Native American Heritage Month is celebrated each year in November. It is a time to celebrate the traditions, languages and stories of Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and affiliated Island communities and ensure their rich histories and contributions continue to thrive with each passing generation. This November and every month, we celebrate the culture and heritage of these remarkable Americans who deeply enrich the quality and character of our Nation. We celebrate Indian Country with its remarkable diversity of American Indian and Alaska Native cultures and peoples while remembering and honoring our veterans who have sacrificed so much to defend our Nation.
This year’s theme at Interior is Celebrating Tribal Sovereignty and Identity. Tribal sovereignty ensures that any decisions about Tribes with regard to their property and citizens are made with their participation and consent. The federal trust responsibility is a legal obligation under which the United States “has charged itself with moral obligations of the highest responsibility and trust” toward Indian tribes.
The Department of the Interior plays a key role in strengthening Tribal sovereignty, living up to trust and treaty responsibilities, and conducting robust Tribal consultation. Much of the Department’s work under Secretary Haaland’s leadership also centers on acknowledging the impact that relocation, forced assimilation, and lack of critical funding has on Indigenous communities across the country. We are committed to elevating those issues while empowering Tribal governments and Indigenous peoples.