Native American Heritage Month: A Celebration of Culture and Resilience

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Native American Heritage Month: A Celebration of Culture and Resilience

authored by Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Fellowship in Equity and Action Jill Rembrandt Calo '85

November is a time when the United States pays tribute to its Indigenous peoples by celebrating Native American Heritage Month. This annual observance is an opportunity to honor the diversity, rich cultures and histories of Native Americans. It's a chance to reflect on their deep-rooted traditions, contributions, and resilience, while also acknowledging the ongoing challenges faced by indigenous communities.

Understanding the history of Native Americans is an integral part of this celebration. It's crucial to acknowledge the legacy of colonization, forced relocations, and cultural suppression that indigenous communities have endured. These communities also face present-day struggles such as healthcare disparities, inadequate educational opportunities, and sovereignty disputes.

Despite these challenges, Native Americans have displayed remarkable resilience, preserving their cultures and making significant contributions to various fields, from art and literature to science and environmental stewardship. Their wisdom in areas like agriculture, herbal medicine, and sustainable living has had a positive impact on our collective well-being and understanding of the natural world.

This month at HB, we are celebrating Native American Heritage Month across our divisions. On the first day of the month, Upper School students began morning meeting with a land acknowledgement, honoring the tribes who were present in Ohio before westward expansion. Students also renewed their commitment to learn more about the history and cultures of indigenous peoples of our region, and support ongoing efforts to protect and preserve their heritage, lands, and traditions.

In the Middle School, sixth graders are researching and writing their own land acknowledgements in culture and community class. Later this month, the Primary School students will enjoy a presentation from CityMusic who has a string quartet program focusing on American Indian legends that feature a Native American composer. 

For more information, or to share your story about Native American Heritage Month, email me at