Honoring Native Heritage and Supporting American Indian/Alaska Native Elders
Photo by R. Madison
American Indian and Alaska Native Elders are the heart and soul of Native communities across the United States, and indigenous traditions of dance, food, cuisine and language around the world continue to thrive. We join our member organization, the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA), in celebrating the rich heritage of the more than 500 unique tribal nations across the United States and the Elders who are preserving and passing those traditions down to future generations.This Native American Heritage Month, we’re sharing highlights from the Diverse Elders Coalition blog throughout 2018, including:
- The Importance of Good Sleep for Elders: “Not only do Elders have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep, but they also have changes in patterns of their sleep, specifically more time spent in the lighter stages of sleep than in the deep stages of sleep.”
- Learning and Teaching at the 2018 NICOA Conference on Aging in Indian Country: “NICOA’s conferences tend to be really special events, with a Tribal fashion show, traditional foods served at conference meals, and a strong emphasis on community and culture.”
- Two Spirit and LGBT Natives Are Making a Difference in Their Communities: “Too often, rejection of Two Spirit / LGBT community members by families, peers, and the community breaks families apart and tears at the social fabric of our community.”
Photo by J. Dovydenas
More Native American Heritage Month highlights from around the country:
In the U.S. midterm elections earlier this month, Sharice Davids (D-KS) and Deb Haaland (D-NM) became the first Native American women elected to Congress.
Author Tommy Orange shares some reflections on Thanksgiving, the erasure of American Indians from our national conscience, and suggested reading for the true history of Native American tribes and Thanksgiving in the United States.
Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are building sustainable, long-term economic and cultural wealth in a way that continues to honor traditional values and cultural norms.
For a listing of Native American Heritage Month events near you, visit www.nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.