November is Native American Heritage Month
Native Americans You Should Know
Dr. Eloisa Garcia Tamez - Lipan Apache Nation
the only Native American to counter-sue the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Army, and the U.S. Customs Border Patrol. She staunchly defends Lipan Apaches, and challenges U.S. claims to sovereignty in Indigenous lands and over Indigenous Nations in the U.S. courts.
Jim Thorpe - Sac and Fox Nations
Thorpe is considered one of the most versatile athletes in sports history. He played college and pro football, pro baseball, and pro basketball. He was the first president of the American Professional Football Association (APFA), which later became the NFL. Though he won Olympic gold medals for the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon, it is believed he was stripped of the medals because of discrimination.
Charlene Teters - Spokane Nation
Often referred to as the "Rosa Parks" of the American Indians. She protested her alma mater, the University of Illinois, for using a culturally insensitive Native American-looking school mascot. She also created an exhibit in 1994 called "It Was Only an Indian: Native American Stereotypes" which identified Native American racism and stereotypes in media and advertising. She is the subject of the highly acclaimed documentary, "In Whose Honor" which looks at the ethical issues of using American Indians as sports mascots.
Maria Tallchief - Osage Nation
Tallchief was America’s first prima ballerina and the first soloist of the New York City Ballet. She went on to found the Chicago City Ballet. She won countless awards for her contributions to the dance world and is remembered for her Native American pride.
Winona LaDuke - Anishinaabeg Nation
LaDuke is an American Indian activist, environmentalist, economist, and writer. She went to college at Harvard, where she became part of an Indian activist group. After college she moved to the White Earth Indian Reservation in Minnesota to be a school principal. She did not speak Ojibwe or know many people and the tribe did not welcome her. She later founded the Indigenous Women's Network to protect rights of Native women worldwide.
She also founded the White Earth Land Recovery Project (WELRP) to recover land lost by the Anishinaabe and ran for vice-president with Ralph Nader with the Green Party in 1996 and 2000.
Gary “Litefoot” Davis - Cherokee and Chichimeca Nations
The rapper, actor, author, entrepreneur was the first openly Native American hip hop artist. He founded Red Vinyl Records, a music label exclusively for American Indian musicians. He has acted in many tv and Hollywood film roles, but is most recognized for his role as Little Bear in The Indian in the Cupboard.
John Herrington - Chickasaw Nation
Herrington is the first enrolled member of a Native American tribe to venture into space. He went on an 11 day space shuttle mission in 2002 to the International Space station. To show his tribal pride, Herrington carried a Chickasaw Nation flag on his trip into space.
Native Americans respond to stereotypes in fashion and the media