News Release

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month with the National Park Service

Several dancers wearing bright traditional dress.
Dancers at the Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site Indian Arts Showcase. The annual event commemorates the history and culture of the Upper Missouri tribes.

NPS photo.

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.

A pair of bright red moccasins at the edge of the Grand Canyon.
Roc Your Mocs Day is on November 15.

Photo courtesy of Dorothy FireCloud.

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.

An aerial view of a lush green river bank.
Aerial view of the Peninsula of Werowocomoco.

Photo courtesy of Matt Rath.

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.

Six young people wearing matching t shirts and hats on a trail in a lush forest.
Pōhai Maile Interns on Pīpīwai Trail with Waimoku Falls in the background.

NPS photo.

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.

Two men in an office space wear gloves to handle a small box containing several bright colored artifacts.
Osage Nation Representatives review collections during a NAGPRA consultation.

Photo courtesy of The Osage Nation.

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.

Three women wearing face masks stand outside in a line to show the back of the bright colored red and pink shawls they are wearing.
Celebrate Red Shawl Day on November 19 by wearing red or a red shawl to bring attention to the crisis.

Photo courtesy of The Bureau of Indian Affairs.

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, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Last updated: November 5, 2021