Learning about and recognizing Native Americans’ homelands and heritage is essential to understanding the full history of our nation. We’re observing this Native American Heritage Month by acknowledging the significance of tribal lands to American Indians and Alaska Natives—and the importance of protecting Indigenous cultures to us all.

 
 

Learning about and recognizing Native Americans’ homelands and heritage is essential to understanding the full history of our nation. We’re observing this Native American Heritage Month by acknowledging the significance of tribal lands to American Indians and Alaska Natives—and the importance of protecting Indigenous cultures to us all.

Cetera’s corporate office in El Segundo is located on the ancestral land of the native people of the Kizh Nation, also known as the Tongva, and by the Spanish name Gabrieleño. Our office also borders on Tongva land as well, near the former village of Ongoovanga.1

Population estimates show that the land we’re on was not once as empty as some iconic images of the American landscape represent. Some research suggests that there may have been some 54 million U.S. Native Americans in 14922—about 16% the size entire U.S. population today. Currently, U.S. Native Americans number around 6.79 million, or about 2% of our country’s total population.3 In the intervening years, rich cultures have disappeared and a struggle for survival unfolded, with homelands playing a central role.

Many of our country’s treasured places, such as our National Parks, are homelands from which Native Americans were removed. With a purpose far beyond merely providing a space to call home, Native American homelands are places of tribal origination, provide connection to ancestors and cultural identity, and carry deep spiritual significance. The decades-long struggles for land restitution go far beyond concerns over sovereignty—they are issues of survival.

We have a shared responsibility to help protect Native Americans’ 500-plus tribes, culture, homelands, and heritage in the interest of our collective well-being.4 Take these steps to learn about Native American heritage and get involved.

 
Develop and share a land acknowledgement that can serve as a call to action and raise awareness of the Native lands we occupy. Start with guidance from the Native Governance Center, and discover how land acknowledgements can function as a living celebration of Indigenous communities.
 
Incorporate Native American foods in everyday celebrations, and use this opportunity to discuss our country’s rich cultures and long-standing traditions. Check out “A Gathering Basket,” a new digital cookbook featuring webinars and videos that tells stories behind Indigenous foods.
 
Support Native American businesses and arts. NativeWeb’s database aggregates businesses throughout the United States and beyond and is a starting point for finding businesses to support. Visit the National Museum of the American Indian online and check out current digital art exhibitions.

At Cetera, we are committed to raising awareness and respect all of cultures in the interest of our collective well-being. Be a part of our honoring Native American Heritage Month by sharing your experiences on social via #CeteraCelebrates.

This month, we’re spotlighting Native American and Indigenous activists who are working to increase awareness of the history of their communities and the current issues they are battling. Visit these resources to hear directly from these inspiring voices and get to know the people, issues and life of Native Americans.

Caring Cetera Raises $240,000 (and Counting) for Diversity in Financial Planning Scholarship

To help encourage greater representation and access within our profession, Caring Cetera launched the Diversity in Financial Planning Scholarship, offering financial and mentorship support to students from communities traditionally underrepresented in financial services. To date, $240,000 has been raised to help deserving students pursue their financial planning career.
Learn More or Make a Donation

Suggested Watching

 

Explore the Native American experience from the lenses of Native filmmakers and expand your perspective.

Tales by Light

Director: Chris Eyre
Stars: Jeremiah Bitsui, Candice Costello, Geraldine Keams, Riana Malabed

Meet four Native Americans, strengthened by their heritage, whose lives take significant turns in one day.

Warrior Women

Director: Elizabeth Castle and Christina D. King
Stars: Marcella Gilbert

Learn about Lakota activist and community organizer Madonna Thunder Hawk and the role women play in the American Indian Movement.

Little Chief

Director: Erica Tremblay
Stars: Lily Gladstone, Julian Ballentyne

Spend a day on a reservation in Oklahoma with a Native woman and a schoolboy.

Suggested Reading

 

Gain a greater understanding of respect for Native America heritage by exploring the works of writers.

Fry Bread

by Kevin Noble Millard
Meet a modern Native American family and discover the connection between food and cultural identify.

House Made of Dawn

by N. Scott Momaday
This Pulitzer-Prize winning novel features the story of a young Native American caught between modern and traditional worlds.

1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving

by Catherine O'Neill Grace
Learn about the three-day harvest celebration in 1621 and raise awareness about Thanksgiving myths.

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