Founded by Dr. Arthur C. Parker — the museum director hailing from the Seneca Nation — Native American Heritage Month is a celebration of a culture that is as vibrant as it is diverse. Throughout the month, institutions, such as the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of the American Indian, are hosting webinars and film showcases that tell native stories.
Learning about Indigenous histories and cultures is important to preserving an ethnic group that has nearly been wiped out due to genocide. While education is always important, Native Americans still have systemic struggles that must be addressed. For example, 1 in 3 Native Americans live in poverty, and Native women are 3.5 times more likely than non-Native women to be victims of violent crimes. Murder is the third leading cause of death for Native women.
These statistics are devastating, and they only scratch the surface of Indigenous issues. If you’re like me and you don’t belong to any Indigenous communities, one of the best ways to support them is through donations. Below are different Indigenous organizations that need financial support.
- Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women
Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women is an organization focused on raising awareness for Indigenous lives that have been taken. They have programs like Staying Sacred, which educates Indigenous women on culture, sexual violence and self-defense. By donating to MMIW, you can support the movement to find missing Indigenous women and prevent violence against them in the first place.
- Move to Higher Ground
The Quileute Tribe resides in La Push, Washington. La Push is in a tsunami zone that is long overdue for a devastating earthquake. If the land is hit by a natural disaster, the tribe as a whole could be wiped out in under 10 minutes. The Move to Higher Ground project aims to move their tribal school, the only school that teaches their language and culture, away from the ocean side. However, they need help doing it. Donate to the MTHG project to help relocate the school and keep their community safe.
A movement for the liberation of Black, Indigenous and POC identities, LandBack works to return public land to Indigenous people. LandBack is an anti-colonial movement that has been around for generations. Currently, their main goal is the closure of Mount Rushmore, which sits in the middle of sacred land. Donations will help support their organization and mission to put “Indigenous lands back into Indigenous hands.”
Countless Indigenous organizations need support, and this list is nowhere near exhaustive. Other organizations include the NDN Collective, the Cherokee Nation and the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center.