Native American Heritage Month celebrates the people indigenous to the United States. It was created to honor the history, culture, and traditions of the people who have called North America home for thousands of years.
November was designated Native American Heritage Month in 1995. It grew from a celebratory day to a week, to its current status as a month-long celebration.
Why it’s Important
Native Americans have often been falsely portrayed if not completely left out of the version of American history that is taught in our country. It’s important to learn the true history, and culture, of the people whose land we live on.
In fact, the word “Minnesota” itself comes from the Dakota word for the way the sky reflects in the water. Our state, including the communities Guild serves, is on Dakota and Anishinaabe land.
Though Native Americans report similar rates of mental illness to that of the overall population, they report higher amounts of general mental distress. Additionally, Native American youth have suicide rates twice as high as that of white youth. 26.6% of the Indigenous population lives in poverty, versus 10.5% of the general population, due to the destructive repercussions of colonialism. This can make it difficult to afford mental health care. When seeking mental health care, it can also be difficult for Native Americans to find culturally competent providers or care.
Get Care That’s Specific to Your Identity
Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) can benefit from getting mental health care from providers who have a similar cultural identity. Looking for Native mental health professionals or resources? Check out this list!
- One Sky Center offers mental health and substance abuse resources
- Psychology Today has a way to search for a Native American therapist
- WeRNative is a health website for Native American youth
- View this list of organizations with additional resources
At Guild, we know that your cultural identity has an impact on your mental health needs and recovery. That’s why our services are holistic. We see our clients as more than their diagnosis. Interested in our services? Call our Community Access team at (651) 925-8490.
Native American Heritage Month, PBS.
About Native American Heritage Month, Library of Congress.
Behind Minnesota’s Native History, Minneapolis St. Paul Mag
Land Acknowledgement, Native Governance Center.
The Ojibwe People, The Minnesota Historical Society.
Minneapolis-St. Paul in Dakota and Ojibwe, The Decolonial Atlas.
Native and Indigenous Communities and Mental Health, Mental Health America.
Indigenous, National Alliance on Mental Illness.