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Native American Heritage Day

A Native American Good Morning Message.

Native American Heritage Day is a day to celebrate the vibrant cultures, traditions, and heritages while recognizing Native Americans’ many contributions. A great way to learn about other cultures with children is through books that you can both enjoy. Here is one of our favorite stories to read this time of year, Giving Thanks, A Native American Good Morning Message, written by Chief Jake Swamp.

The Thanksgiving Address from the Author’s Note

The words in this book are based on the Thanksgiving Address, an ancient message of peace and appreciation of Mother Earth and all her inhabitants, that are still spoken at ceremonial and govern- mental gatherings held by the Six Nations. These words of thanks come to us from the Native people known as the Haudenosaunee, also known as the Iroquois or Six Nations–Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca, Tuscarora. The people of the Six Nations are from upstate New York and Canada.


In 2009, President Barack Obama signed “The Native American Heritage Day Resolution,” designating the Friday after Thanksgiving as “Native American Heritage Day.” After signing H.J. Res 40 into law he stated, “I encourage every American to join me in observing Native American Heritage Day….It is also important for all of us to understand the rich culture, tradition, and history of Native Americans and their status today, and to appreciate the contributions that First Americans have made and will continue to make to our Nation.”