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Teach For America Celebrates Native American Heritage Month
Hau Mitakuyapi, Anpetu waste. Robert Cook emaciyapi yelo, Oglala Lakota hemaca yelo. Na iyuha cante wasteya nape ciyuzapi yelo.
Good day, relatives. My name is Robert Cook. I’m from the Oglala Lakota Nation, and I shake your hand with a good heart.
On behalf of the Native Alliance Initiative, we’re sending this special message to honor November 2016 as Native American Heritage Month. Now and each coming day is time to reflect and celebrate the rich heritage and cultural contributions of this country’s indigenous nations and people as we dedicate ourselves and our commitment to supporting tribal sovereignty and self-determination for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawai'ian students, families and communities.
There are 566 federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Native Villages in the United States with over 2 million enrolled members and nearly 5 million U.S. citizens who identify in part as American Indian or Alaska Native. Although we only comprise one percent of the total U.S. population, our nations make up a tremendously diverse 50 percent of the Nation’s languages.
Today, Indian Country and allies across the country and world are engaged in a historic stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in North Dakota near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Tribes, once historic enemies, have come together by the hundreds to halt the DAPL pipeline’s construction under the Missouri River, potentially impacting the water system for nearly 20 million people who rely on this water for life.
Here’s how you can help celebrate Native Heritage Month:
- Follow us on Slack using #nativealliance, Facebook @ Teach For America's Native Alliance Initiative, and Twitter #NativeHeritageMonth where we’re engaging staff, alumni and corps on critical issues like Columbus Day, racist sport mascots (#NotYourMascot), the truth about Thanksgiving, and #NativeLivesMatter.
- Visit www.teachforamerica.org/nai to learn more about the NAI’s recruitment efforts, our work in Native regions, national partnerships, and getting more involved. We encourage to you take action by recommending a leader you know to the corps and the NAI.
- To Learn More about Stand at Standing Rock and Mni Wiconi Water is Life, follow sacredstonecamp.org.
Robert Cook and the NAI team