Colorful block print images of salmon.

Native American Heritage Month started as a single day of appreciation and acknowledgment for the unique contributions made by the first Americans for the establishment and development of the United States. Eventually it grew to become a monthlong observance. In 1990, a joint resolution was approved by President George H.W. Bush, which called for the month of November to be National Native American Heritage Month.

The 2023 Presidential proclamation states that “despite centuries of violence and oppression, Native peoples remain resilient and proud.  Today, Native Americans are essential to the fabric of the United States.  They serve in the United States Armed Forces at higher rates than any other ethnic group.  They continue to steward so many of our great lands.  Their diverse cultures and communities continue to thrive and lead us forward.” Throughout the month we explore the heritage, culture and experience of Native American peoples both historically and in American life today.

The U.S. Department of the Interior, Indian Affairs division celebrates the 2023 theme of Celebrating Tribal Sovereignty and Identity. Tribal sovereignty ensures that any decisions about Tribes with regard to their property and citizens are made with their participation and consent. The Department of the Interior plays a key role in strengthening Tribal sovereignty, living up to trust and treaty responsibilities, and conducting robust Tribal consultation.

Since Time Immemorial

The State of Washington passed legislation in 2015 requiring the Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington state or other tribally-developed curriculum be taught in all schools. The use of the Since Time Immemorial curriculum has been endorsed by all 29 federally recognized tribes.

The Bellevue School District land acknowledgement states: The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.

To learn more about Native lands, visit the Native Lands site which seeks to map Indigenous lands in a way that changes, challenges and improves the way people see history and the present day.


Resources to Learn More

Those wishing to learn more about local tribes may visit state tribal museums or Federally Recognized Indian Tribes in Washington.

Access Native American Heritage Month resources.


The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.