News Release Date: November 5, 2021
WASHINGTON – Join us as we honor Indigenous cultures and communities as part of National Native American Heritage Month.Throughout the year, and especially during November, the National Park Service (NPS) celebrates the traditions, languages, and contributions of Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Island communities.
The NPS supports Tribal sovereignty by taking trust responsibilities seriously and ensuring robust Tribal consultation. NPS programs under the Office of Native American Affairs, the Office of Tribal Relations and American Cultures, and the Office of State, Local, Tribal Plans and Grants support existing relationships and work to facilitate new opportunities for collaboration with Tribes.
Celebrate Native culture
Rock Your Mocs is an opportunity for Native peoples across the country to express solidarity and embrace their identities by wearing traditional footwear. On Nov. 15, and throughout the week (Nov.14-20), Indigenous peoples across the world celebrate Tribal individuality and share their traditional regalia on social media using #RockYourMocs. We invite all Indigenous people, both employees and visitors, to share posts of your traditional footwear in parks, using #RockYourMocsInParks.
Explore connections to the land
From the protection of subsistence practices in Kobuk Valley National Park in Alaska to the sacred grounds of Werowocomoco in Virginia, national parks have many connections to the traditions and contributions of Native Americans and a duty to preserve their stories, legacy, and culture.
Learn about parks and other places associated with Indigenous history and heritage.
Work with us
NPS employees from Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Island communities play and important role in helping the NPS accomplish its mission. Programs like the Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps and the Kū No Ka Pono o Haleakalā Internship Program at Haleakalā National Park are helping to engage the next generation of Indigenous and local youth and provide pathways to higher education and careers in conservation fields.
Learn more about the many careers, internships, and volunteer opportunities working in support of preserving our public lands.
Protect and repatriate
Did you know that the NPS administers the National Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Program? NAGPRA requires federal agencies and institutions that receive federal funds (including museums, universities, state agencies, and local governments) to repatriate or transfer Native American human remains and other cultural items to the appropriate parties. The NPS NAGPRA program supports these efforts by administering federal grants and providing training and outreach on NAGPRA to museums, Indian Tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations. The NPS program monitors compliance through a review committee and investigates civil penalties on museums that fail to comply.
Learn more about NAGPRA.
Honor and observe
American Indian and Alaska Native women are missing and murdered at a rate of more than 10 times the national average. November 19th is observed as Red Shawl Day/Week and is a time to bring attention to the horrible acts of violence committed against Indigenous peoples, particularly women and children. Throughout the week, people are encouraged to wear red as a symbol of the loss of sacred lifeblood through violence.
Learn more about the Department of the Interior’s Missing & Murdered Unit within the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services. Wear red in support and join the conversation by using the hashtag #RedShawlWeek and #RedShawlDay on social media.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Last updated: November 5, 2021