Airtable is looking forward to celebrating the diversity of cultures and intersectional identities that comprise Native American culture.
Airtable’s mission is to democratize software creation for everyone. Naturally, our mission has helped us attract a diverse community of users, advocates, and employees—and it’s important to us that we celebrate our community’s diversity. Heritage months are a powerful opportunity to amplify the stories and voices of folks from underrepresented backgrounds in the Airtable community.
November 1st marks the start of Native American Heritage Month, and the Airtable team is excited to celebrate. We are looking forward to recognizing, learning about, and celebrating the diversity of cultures and intersectional identities that comprise Native American culture.
This year for Native American Heritage Month, Airtable will approach our celebration through the theme of “Educators.” Educators play a critical role in empowering communities, and highlighting their work offers an opportunity for us to go down a path of intentional learning that’s centered around community expertise and voice.
Each week, we will focus on a different educator within the Indigenous community and celebrate their work with a post on our Instagram account: the first educator we’re recognizing is Sequoyah, the multitalented Cherokee man who created a syllabary to make it possible to read and write the Cherokee language. We’ll be posting about more educators as the month goes on, so follow our Instagram account!
Airtable will also bring in a speaker—Sarayl Y. Shunkamolah, Program and Operations Officer for First Nations Development Institute and a member of the Navajo Nation—to share her story and personal experiences, as well as the history and traditions of the Navajo people, with us.
The history of Native American Heritage Month
Native American Heritage Month was first suggested as “American Indian Day” in 1915 by Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a member of the Seneca tribe and director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, NY at the time. Approval for this idea was sought from different state governments by Red Fox James, a member of the Blackfeet Tribe, who traveled to these respective states by horseback. He secured the approval of 24 different states, and presented this at the White House in December of 1915.
From there, many states declared individual days of celebration beginning in 1916 in New York, but there was no nationally recognized holiday until 1990, when President George H. W. Bush designated November to be “National American Indian Heritage Month,” and it has been ever since. It has gone by a number of different names, including “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month” and “Native American Heritage Month.”
Native American Heritage Month is both a time for celebrating the many diverse and rich cultures of tribes living on this continent, while also acknowledging the hardships endured by this community as a result of years of devastating displacement and genocide beginning in the early 17th century by European colonization and settlers. Today 6.9 million people identify as Native American, making up 63 tribes and 574 federally recognized tribal nations. Each tribe has its own culture and traditions, but resilience and reverence for their rich history is consistent across the diaspora.
Where to learn more
Although we often discuss the Native American community as a whole, it is important to note that the Native American community in theContinue reading