Native American Heritage Month

By Tone’ Mendoza, mendozaac@unk.edu

Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode on horseback in 1915 from state to state seeking official approval for a day to honor Indians. He delivered the endorsements of 24 states to the White House, but not until 1990 with President George H.W. Bush’s approved did the resolution designating the month of November as Native American Heritage Month become a reality.

First Nation people in Nebraska

About 15 tribes have been identified as having lived in, hunted in, or otherwise occupied territory within the current state boundaries of Nebraska: the Arapaho lived for more than a thousand years throughout the western part of Nebraska and was home to the Arikara and Pawnee. The Kiowa also once occupied western Nebraska as did the Cheyenne. The Comanche had formerly lived in the territory and moved south toward Texas. The Ponca were forced to move south into present day Oklahoma and others such as the Kansa, Omaha, Osage, and others were also forced to move out of the Nebraska area.  But it was the Great Sioux Nation and the Lakota that used Nebraska as a hunting ground.

Eventually they ceded their lands through various treaties to the U.S. Government, which rendered these among the lands it gave away to new settlers moving in from the east under the Homestead Act. Despite this, several Indian reservations still exist in Nebraska and one of the most famous confrontations between Native Americans, with their leaders, including Russell Means, and the US government came about on the Pine Ridge Reservation in the 1970s.

Library Resources:
Book Collection (Upper Level)

Books in the Curriculum Collection (Lower Level)

E-books (online; accessible on-campus and to UNK students and employees off-campus)

Government Documents (Upper Level)

Videos in the Curriculum Collection (Lower Level)

Web Resources: