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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.

 
 
 
 
 

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Join us in observing 100 years of Native American citizenship. On June 2, 1924, President Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act, granting Native Americans US citizenship, a pivotal moment in their quest for equality. This year marks its centennial, inspiring our special project, "Heritage Unbound: Native American Citizenship at 100," observing their journey with stories of resilience, struggle, and triumph. Your donations fuel initiatives like these, ensuring our coverage and projects honoring Native American heritage thrive. Your donations fuel initiatives like these, ensuring our coverage and projects honoring Native American heritage thrive.

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