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National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) observes National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month during the month of November. The annual theme is announced by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute.

From generation to generation, American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) handed down invaluable cultural knowledge and rich traditions in art, folk tales, literature, religion, language and American history, which continue to thrive in AI/AN communities and across our country today. AI/ANs also have served in the U.S. Armed Forces with honor and distinction, defending the security of our Nation with their lives. Historically, AI/ANs 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 574 federally recognized tribes. An estimated 6.9 million people identified as AI/AN alone or AI/AN in combination with one or more other races, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

As we commemorate the contributions and heritage of AI/ANs, we also recommit to supporting tribal self-determination, security and prosperity for all AI/ANs. VA also salutes and honors all AI/AN employees who help care for our Nation’s Veterans and their family members through their commitment and dedicated service. As of April 30, 2019, VA employees who identified as AI/AN represented 1.51 percent of VA's total permanent workforce.

For more information on VA's National American Indian and Alaska Native Employment Program, contact the program manager.

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