Janee' Kassanavoid celebrates after winning bronze in the women's hammer throw final at the 2022 World Athletics Championships on July 17, 2022 in Eugene, Ore.
National Native American Heritage Month is 30 days to recognize and honor our nation’s first people. It is a time to celebrate the rich cultures, traditions, histories and many contributions of Indigenous people. Furthermore, it is an opportunity to become widely educated and aware of the challenges Native Americans have faced and continue to face. Many native tribes have contributed to the foundation and survival of this nation. It is important to recognize the movement and join in support of Indigenous people and their communities.
As a professional track and field athlete for Team USA, it is a great honor to represent myself as a Native American and an Indigenous woman in sport. Making history as the first Native American woman to medal at the World Athletics Track & Field Championships symbolized the strength and the resilience that I have carried throughout my career.
I will continue to fight for Indigenous representation, equality and justice. It is with great gratitude that I amplify my voice, walk forward as a leader and embody the role of those who walked before me. I am proud to be Indigenous and pave the way for the future generations of young athletes, women and fellow natives to come.
For the month of November, I encourage everyone to acknowledge the land, support Indigenous-owned businesses, learn about Indigenous history and cultures, and donate to Native American organizations. We are stronger together. Below are a few special events during the month of November to recognize:
- Rock Your Mocs – Nov. 15
- Red Shawl Day – Nov. 19
- Native American Heritage Day – Nov. 25
Additionally, there are several ways to learn, celebrate, honor or observe Native American Heritage Month. If you consider doing so, here are a few things you can indulge in to discover the rich and diverse stories of tradition and resiliency:
- Attend the National Museum of the American Indian
- Attend a Powwow
- Read books written by Native American authors
- Support Native American-owned businesses
- Understand issues referred to as ‘Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’