Celebrating Native American Heritage Month
Last updated: November 3, 2021, at 4:22 p.m. PT
Originally published: November 1, 2021, at 4:56 p.m. PT
November is Native American Heritage Month. During this month, we take time to celebrate, recognize, and educate ourselves of the rich histories, cultures, and important contributions of our nation’s first people.
To our native staff and community members who make the Y a better place every day, we stand with you in celebration and honor of this important occasion every day of the year.
As we celebrate and learn, appreciating that Native Americans are not a monolith is an important first step. In Washington, there are 29 federally recognized Indian tribes, each with their own unique culture, history, tribal government and customs, but this is only the beginning of the story.
We often begin meetings and events at the Y with an acknowledgment of the ancestorial keepers of this land and thank them for their triumphs and contributions to our local history, culture and identity.
These simple words are not only an acknowledgement, but a commitment to addressing equity and justice for all, to getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, and to speaking up or advocating for what is right.
As shared in our equity statement, which guides us in everything we do and everywhere we do it, we promote a culture free from bias and injustice and are dedicated to removing institutional and systemic barriers that result in oppression, racism, and unequitable environments.
The Y recognizes and celebrate the cultures, contributions, and resilience of Native peoples, and we are proud to count them among as our staff, volunteers, partners, and community.
The Y has history of partnering with our friends and neighbors in the Native American community to enrich our experiences, diversify our approaches, and strengthen our collective impact for all.
For example, when planning began for the Y’s first new summer camp in over 100 years, we engaged with the Nisqually Indian Tribe to explore incorporating the history and culture of Native peoples and to better educate and bring the benefits of the great outdoors to all youth and families.
Also, for years the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe has partnered with the Snoqualmie Y to offer ongoing community workshops and services for Native peoples and the public at-large, which have grown during the pandemic to connect more people. We are excited to continue to build relationships and collaborations with others in the Native American community.
Through our events and panel discussions, the Y has hosted learning and engagement opportunities with Native leaders on the issues most pressing for our communities. Mark your calendars for November 22, 2021 and join us for our next Y Community Conversations. Thanks to our partners for their support in bringing these conversations to community.
And these are only a few examples of how the Y works along side and champions our Indigenous communities.
During this month, we encourage you to get involved and learn more about Native American Heritage. Through education, volunteerism, and engagement, learn how we can together unify and amplify all voices in our community and create a more just and equitable society for all.