WASHINGTON — November is designated American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month by the U.S. government. Others refer to it as Native American Heritage Month. Regardless, it is a month designated to celebrate the Indigenous peoples of this country and a time educate others about the rich heritage of Native peoples.

In preparation of this celebration month, the United States Census Bureau prepared the following information:

The first American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1916 in New York. The event culminated an effort by Red Fox James, a member of the Blackfeet Nation who rode across the nation on horseback seeking approval from 24 state governments to have a day to honor American Indians. More than seven decades later, then-President George H.W. Bush in 1990 signed a joint congressional resolution designating the month of November “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations have been issued every year since 1994 to recognize what is now called "American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month." This Facts for Features presents statistics for American Indians and Alaska Natives, one of the six major race categories defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

The following facts are possible thanks to responses to the U.S. Census Bureau’s surveys. We appreciate the public’s cooperation as we continuously measure America’s people, places and economy.

Did You Know?

6.9 million

The nation's American Indian and Alaska Native population alone or in combination with other race groups in 2019.

10.1 million

The projected American Indian and Alaska Native population alone or in combination with other race groups on July 1, 2060. They would constitute 2.5% of the total population.

324

The number of distinct federally recognized American Indian reservations in 2019, including federal reservations and off-reservation trust land. 

574

The number of federally recognized Indian tribes in 2020.

142,972

The number of single-race American Indian and Alaska Native veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces in 2019.

 
 
 
 
 

Support Independent Indigenous Journalism

Native News Online is an independent, Indigenous-led newsroom with a crucial mission:  We want to change the narrative about Indian Country. We do this by producing intelligent, fact-based journalism that tells the full story from all corners of Indian Country.  We pride ourselves on covering the tribes you may have never heard of before and by respecting and listening to the communities we serve through our reporting. As newsrooms across the country continue to shrink, coverage of Indian Country is more important than ever, and we are committed to filling this ever-present hole in journalism.

Because we believe everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities, the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. But we hope it inspires you to make a gift to Native News Online so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount, big or small, gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. 
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online Staff