Indigenous People’s Month - KIPP Chicago Public Schools

Team & Family!

November is National Native American Heritage Month! It is a month to honor and celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ inherent rights and dynamic cultures that are deeply and richly interwoven in lands, languages, spiritual traditions, and artistic expression. All of which are rooted in self-determination and self-governance.

KIPP Chicago recognizes that Chicago is the traditional homelands of the Council of the Three Fires: Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa along with over a dozen additional tribal nations. It is also the site of trade for the Miami, Ho-Chunk & Sauk.

Our region is located at the intersection of several great waterways traditionally used as a site of travel, healing, and spiritual practice. These tribes & many others served as stewards of the land before us. Today, Chicago is home to the sixth-largest urban indigenous population in the country. Over 65,000 thriving Indigenous Peoples live, work & play alongside us.

May we learn to respect and honor their historical and contemporary presence as well as their belief that we must recognize our roles as caretakers of the land and waters for the use and livelihood of future generations.

May we commit ourselves to develop deeper partnerships that advocate for the progress, dignity, and humanity of the many diverse Native Americans who still live and practice their traditions on this land today.

Five ways to honor Native American Heritage Month:

  1. Thinking about your hometown, or where you’ll spend thanksgiving, plan to learn about and acknowledge the original inhabitants of that land.
    • We honor and show gratitude as a sign of respect and willingness to heal. The more we talk about displacement and gentrification, it is important to center the conversations of land use on Indigenous Peoples’.
  2. Patronize small Indigenous businesses for your holiday shopping + support Indigenous Authors.
  3. Advocate for COVID-19 race and ethnicity data to be more widely reported and accessible to all.
    • According to CDC data, Native Americans have a 5.3x higher rate of hospitalization, 1.4x higher rate of death, and 2.8x higher incidence rate.
    • The overrepresentation of cases within Native American communities is due in part to the unequal distribution of resources, including limited access to healthcare.
  4. Support nonprofits fighting for Indigenous rights and sovereignty. Donate, share your time, their work, and support their calls-to-action.
    • Int’l Indigenous Youth Council (Chicago) @iiyc.chicago
    • Cultural Survival @culturalsurvival cultural
    • NDN collective @ndncollective
    • Natifs @natifs_org
    • Nature Rights Council @ancestral_gaurd
  5. Research and support Indigenous candidates pursuing local, city, and state governmental positions.
    • Native Americans successfully fought for and won the right to vote in 1975.
    • 2 out of 127 women serving in the 116th Congress are Native Women.
    • 1 out of 90 women serving in statewide elective offices is Native American.

Virtual Classroom Resources

This month marks four years since 200+ Native American tribes stood together to protect their land and water, protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation. Take a look at our Spring 2018 CMASJ art show, Just Add Water, that featured an installation honoring these tribes.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Register your class for a conversation with young Native foodies working to decolonize their diets and restore balance in their bodies and communities.Thursday, November 19, 2020, 4 PM ET

Take a virtual field trip at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

Book List
Zinn Education Project;
Native American History Month Teacher Portal
Oil, water, and climate resistance
National Museum of the American Indian Teaching Resources

This month, we will be using our social media platform to amplify and celebrate Indigenous voices, movements, and culture. Follow, like, and share in support at @kippchicago on Facebook and Instagram.

We want to hear from you! How are you celebrating? Let us know by tagging @kippchicago on your socials.

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect."
- Chief Seattle