November is Native American Heritage Month, and here in Juneau there's plenty of opportunities to honor, celebrate, and learn more about the rich Native cultures of Southeast Alaska.
The month gets off to a busy start Friday, with a full schedule of activities planned by Sealaska Heritage Institute, including a lunchtime lecture, dance performances and a Native artists market.
Friday's lecture will be led by Madonna Moss, a professor of at the University of Oregon. She will present on "Pre-Contact Tlingit Warfare: What Do We Really Know?" The hour-long talk begins at noon in the fourth floor boardroom at Sealaska Plaza, and attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch. This is the second in a series of lectures on a wide range of topics offered throughout the month. After this Friday, Sealaska Heritage institute's free lunchtime lecture series will run on Mondays. Visit www.sealaskaheritage.org for the complete list.
Later Friday evening, the Git Hoan Dancers, a Tsimshian group, and the Xudzidaa Kwáan Dancers of Angoon will perform beginning at 7 p.m. in the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium. These performances are free and open to the public.
The dance groups will also be performing at 10 a.m. for elementary students and at 1 p.m. for junior high and high school students.
Also on Friday, a Native Artist Market will be held from 5-9 p.m. in the JDHS commons.
Native American Heritage Month has its roots in American Indian Day, established in 1915. Arthur Parker, a Seneca Indian, and Red Fox James, of the Blackfoot tribe, were among those instrumental in garnering support for this designation. In 1990, that day of recognition was expanded into a month-long celebration when Former President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution.
For more information, visit nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov.