ELLICOTT CITY, MD – November is Native American Heritage Month (NAHM) and Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, the County’s Office of Human Rights and Equity (OHRE), Howard County Library System (HCLS) and local business Nava Be Diné, have partnered together to recognize the culture, traditions and history of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Last month, the County observed its second Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which was first recognized by the County in place of Columbus Day in 2020.
This month provides an opportunity for our residents of all ages to learn more about the rich history of American Indians and Alaska Natives. With supportive community partners, who hope that these activities and events encourage conversation and highlight Native American voices.
On Saturday, November 6th, residents of all ages and backgrounds are invited to join OHRE for an NAHM celebration featuring dancing, singing, drumming, storytelling, children’s crafts, vendors, Navajo tacos and more. This free event will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at HCLS’s East Columbia Branch, located at 6600 Cradlerock Way in Columbia, and will celebrate Native American culture and resiliency.
OHRE and HCLS will also host a book discussion on Thursday, November 18th at 6:30 p.m. at HCLS’s Central Branch at 10375 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia, on the 2021 Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Night Watchmen, by Louise Erdrich. Based on the extraordinary life of Erdrich’s grandfather, attendees will join a night watchman as he fights against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C. Pre-registration is required for this event.
Finally, in continuation of its series exploring intersectionality, OHRE will wrap up its celebration of NAHM with a virtual Lunch & Learn: “Two Spirits: Native & Black Intersectionality,” featuring Karelle Hall, a Black and Native American PhD Candidate studying Anthropology at Rutgers University. Hall will present on the history and experience of those who racially and ethnically identify as Native and Black American. Hall’s presentation will be feature on OHRE’s Facebook page and the County’s YouTube channel on Wednesday, November 24th.
We are proud to partner with the Howard County Library System, Howard County Executive and Native American artists, businesses and residents to present a series of events that recognize and affirm the legacy and contributions of Native Americans.
"We are honored to partner in acknowledging and celebrating the contributions of Native Americans to our community and culture,” said Tonya Aikens, President and CEO of Howard County Library System. “This fun, educational event provides our entire community the opportunity to enhance our knowledge of native history and traditions, and the importance of native contributions in shaping our future.”
“We begin this month honoring the Susquehannock Confederation: the displaced First Peoples and Treaty People of modern Howard County,” said Ani Begay Auld of Nava Be Diné. “Join us in embracing the intertribal Indigeneity living alongside you today.”
For questions and/or more information about NAMH or the Office of Human Rights, contact the office at 410-313-6430 or email [email protected].