November is Native American Heritage Month
Updated: Feb 26, 2022
Celebrating Indigenous culture during November is often over-shadowed by American traditions and holidays like Thanksgiving, which hold messy origins. Chances are your first introduction to Thanksgiving as a kid was in your elementary school classroom making arts and crafts of Pilgrim hats and headdresses. Miseducation of the rich culture and history of Native Americans can be prevented by allowing native people opportunities to tell their own story and by highlighting their accomplishments in effecting political change and regaining their autonomy.
November is National Native American Heritage Month and The Cause Mall would like to recognize Native American history and its rich culture by sharing a few brands, authors, events and opportunities to connect. Comment below with other brands you support!
Unrooted , presented by The Indigenous Foundation, focuses on Indigenous voices and stories that dismantle systems of oppression and "uproot" the deeply ingrained issues and racism against Indigenous communities.
Young and Indigenous (YAI) Podcast is led by a group of tribal youth of the Lummi Nation, original peoples of the land and water now called Bellingham, Washington. Establishing this platform was not only for preservation of their culture, language, and inspiration to future generations of YAI, the podcast is also for listeners outside of their community who hold interest in learning about Native people.
With love and encouragement, Beadwork by Ari was formed as she transformed her cultural hobby into a business. From a young age, Ari participated in cultural activities like beading and invested her time into learning her ancestral history and tribal language, Passamaquoddy. Throughout the pandemic, she grew her business of contemporary indigenous artistry that you can check out on her Instagram.
Committed to amplifying Native voices, creativity, and culture-- without the appropriation-- Designer and CEO Bethany Yellowtail created her brand initiative to support Native American, First Nations, and Indigenous entrepreneurs. The brand offers authentic indigenous designs, while prioritizing economic opportunities for more native arts and businesses. Their high quality jewelry, accessories, clothing and other hand-made goods are primarily sold on a consignment basis with the remaining proceeds funding employment for dozens of Indigenous artists, fundraising for activism efforts, and workshops for education.
First Nations Development Institute improves economic conditions for Native Americans through their mission to strengthen American Indian economies and support healthy Native communities. By investing in and creating innovative institutions and models that strengthen asset control and support economic development for American Indian people and their communities, the institute supports individuals, foundations, corporate and tribal donors. Explore their website for more information and checkout their upcoming deadlines for grant opportunities here.
When I read Kevin N. Maillard's story Fry Bread, I immediately caught myself in a daze thinking of my time as a child eating fry bread and Indian tacos at the Barona reservation where my mother worked. Fry Bread wonderfully depicts the modern Native American family and their traditions, with illustrations by Peruvian Juana Martinez-Neal that paint beautiful imagery of fry bread as a unifying cultural food creating memories across generations. At the end of the book, readers can enjoy a fry bread recipe that is easy enough for anyone to follow
Sarah Eagle Heart is an Emmy-award winning storyteller and CEO of Return to the Heart Foundation, which she founded to address social justice issues and raise the visibility of Native American womxn. Sarah has worked with a number of high profile allies, activists, and influencers to uplift Indigenous voices, focus on narrative change, leadership development and social justice storytelling. View her work and read more on how you can support her efforts here.
If you're a business owner or entrepreneur a part of the Indigenous community with interest in joining The Cause Mall as a vendor, you can sign-up here.