Passing along the traditions generation by generation.

Time may wash away footprints, but it is important to remember where we came from and how we got here. We cherish the knowledge we learned from Elders — those who have fought battles and endured hardships, those who took the time to sit down with us and share.

Pasted down from generation to generation, Elders are not just sharing memories or stories — but traditions, heritage, culture, history, and pride. When we pass along our culture and traditions, we are making sure that our footprints continue moving forward and time does not truly wash them away.

In 1989, South Dakota changed the holiday Columbus Day to Native American Day.  Alaska followed suite in 2017 when a new law changed Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s day. The holiday celebrates Alaska Native and American Indian people and commemorates tradition, heritage, culture, history, and pride. In addition to Indigenous People’s Day in October, Alaska Native and American Indian heritage is honored throughout November — which is recognized nationally as American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.

It’s not a day or a month that makes our culture and heritage special, it’s what makes up part of who we are, guides us, connects us, brings us together in the dark times and the good times. Whether it’s during the month of November or anytime during the year, seeing someone is their regalia is something to behold because its more than just clothing. It’s their tradition, culture, and pride. If they know it or not, they are sharing and connecting to their heritage.

Past generations have laid the foundation for us to be able to share, celebrate, connect, and pass along our heritage, culture, history. Let’s keep paving the way for the next generation to be proud and appreciate their heritage and for the connection to be passed along from generation to generation.

Follow SCF during American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for new facts, photos, and fun related to American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage

by Benjamin Merkouris

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