Farmingdale State College who is committed to creating an inclusive community, that celebrates diversity in all of it forms and equips students to be exemplary citizens, and competitive in a diverse and dynamic society proudly recognizes and joins with over 9 million Native Americans and Alaskan Natives throughout the United States as we celebrate the resilience and unyielding endurance of an indigenous people whose history and presence are inextricably woven into the social tapestry of our Nation. 

November is designated as National Native American Heritage Month. This observance commemorates the history, heritage, and culture of Native Americans and Alaskan Natives. It is during this month we acknowledge the vast achievements of America’s original indigenous people. Although the first "American Indian Day" was celebrated in May 1916 in New York, a month-long recognition of Native Americans did not happen until 1990. That year, President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional resolution designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month. Similar proclamations have been issued every year since 1994 which is now recognized by the National Congress of the American Indian as “American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.” 

Despite a history laden by discrimination and persecution, Native Americans and Alaskan Natives have forged episodes of tragedy, triumphs, and perseverance into a moving chronicle that continues to impact American culture. From thousands of years of practicing the art of medicine and wellness to continued practice of economic, environmental, and cultural sustainability, Native Americans and Alaskan Natives have demonstrated a world view that is holistic where well-being and collective harmony are paramount to the cycles of life. Additionally, during this month as we celebrate Veteran’ Day, Native Americans and Alaskan Natives have answered the call of service in our armed forces in greater numbers per capita than any other group in the United States. The impact of their culture is obviously seen in the names of many states (not to mention cities and rivers) such as Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Dakota, Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio, and Utah as a sampling. 

We honor the struggle and triumph that have been forged into strength. This character is best stated by Deb Haaland, Secretary of the Interior, the first Native American to lead a cabinet agency. “growing up in my mother’s Pueblo household made me fierce,” she tweeted after her confirmation. “I’ll be fierce for all of us, our planet, and all of our protected lands.” It is this unselfish spirit of contribution and commitment that is an example for all Americans to practice the age-old wisdom expressed in the Native American proverb, “We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.”