National Native American Heritage Month
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is pleased to observe the history and
culture of National Native American Heritage Month during the month of November.
This year’s theme is “Serving with Honor, Pride and Devotion.”
From generation to generation, American Indians handed down invaluable cultural
knowledge and rich traditions in art, folk tales, literature, religion, language
and American history, which continue to thrive in Native American communities
and across our country today. Native Americans also have served in the U.S.
Armed Forces with honor and distinction, defending the security of our Nation
with their lives. Historically, Native Americans have the highest record of
service per capita compared to other ethnic groups.
According to the U.S. Department of Interior, the United States has 566
federally recognized tribes and more than 100 tribes recognized by states. As of
2011, an estimated 5.1 million people identified as American Indian or Alaska
Native alone or American Indian and Alaska Native in combination with one or
more other races, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
As we commemorate the contributions and heritage of Native Americans, we also
recommit to supporting tribal self-determination, security and prosperity for
all American Indians and Alaska Natives. VA also salutes and honors all American
Indian and Alaska Native employees who help care for our Nation’s Veterans and
their family members through their commitment and dedicated service. As of
September 2012, VA employees who identified as American Indian or Alaska Native
represented 1.4 percent of VA’s total permanent workforce.
For further information about
the VA American Indian Alaska Native Program, contact the