The City celebrates and honors Native American Heritage Month in November with educational presentations, programs & a proclamation highlighting the culture, heritage & achievements of our Native American neighbors. Activities & exhibits celebrating Native American Heritage Month include:
Proclamation: An official proclamation designating November 2022 as “Native American Heritage Month” in the City will be presented at the November 7 Mayor & City Council meeting. The public is welcome to attend the meeting at City Hall, watch it live on YouTube or watch it via Zoom by registering here. The proclamation will be received by Milo Booth, a Tsimshian member of the Metlakatla Indian Community. Milo moved to the Gaithersburg area in 2011. He participates in multicultural events at schools, often visiting classrooms to talk about his heritage, including songs & dance and sharing items that are important to the Tsimshian culture.
The Metlakatla Indian Community, meaning “salt water passage,” resides about 20 miles south of Ketchikan on Annette Island and is the only settlement of the indigenous Tsimshian people in the United States and the only Indian Reserve in Alaska. Milo returns home every other year for his tribe’s annual Founders Day Celebration. Milo is the Director of Tribal Affairs at the US Department of Transportation where he has started the Department’s Tribal Self Governance Program & advances tribal priorities where they have been historically underserved.
Educational Display: November 1 – 30, 2022, Activity Center at Bohrer Park (click here for hours) Free. The Piscataway Conoy tribes called Maryland home before European settlers arrived. Explore the history of Maryland’s native lands with an educational exhibit featuring the Sugarloaf Regional Trails, point of interest & historical information.
Children’s Storytime: Tasty Books: Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, November 5, 10:30 a.m. Casey Community Center $5 per person, Register online here. Celebrate Native American Heritage Month with a reading of Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story followed by a themed snack and craft activity. In this story, by Kevin Noble Maillard, learn how a traditional Native American food weaves through time and fills families with culture, identity and traditions. The Tasty Books program brings stories to life with hands-on crafts and snack-making. Recommended for preschool-aged children (ages 2 to 8). Adult supervision required. Individual tickets must be purchased for each child & adult.
Museum Exhibit: “Indigenous People in Our Area: Past & Present” November 9, 2022 – January 15, 2023 Community Museum (click here for hours) Free. The Community Museum is partnering with M-NCPPC, Montgomery Parks Archaeology Program to present a display exploring Indigenous life in Montgomery County.
Native American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the rich cultural traditions & proud ancestry of Native Americans & recognize the vital contributions they have made & continue to make to the art, history, traditions & diversity of our society. Native American Heritage Week (November 23 to 30) was first recognized in 1986 during the Reagan administration & was expanded to Native American Heritage Month in 1990 under President George H.W. Bush. American Indian Heritage Day is celebrated on the fourth Friday of November in the state of Maryland.
Native & indigenous people have significantly contributed to the rich fabric of history & culture we celebrate in our community. The Native American community makes up 2.9 percent of the population in the United States, with the 2020 Census indicating that a little less than one percent of the City’s population identify themselves as American Indian or Native Alaskan, up from .5 percent in 2010. The US government officially recognizes 574 tribes in the contiguous 48 states & Alaska. In Maryland, there are residents who represent these Nations as well as some of the more than 500 tribes from Latin America & the Caribbean.
The Nation most closely associated with the boundaries of today’s Montgomery County are the Piscataway. The City of Gaithersburg acknowledges that the Piscataway Indian Nation continues to maintain a relationship with the lands & waters and acknowledge that we are uninvited visitors on Indigenous lands. The state of Maryland officially recognized the Piscataway Conoy Tribe & the Piscataway Indian Nation in 2012.
The mission of the Multicultural Affairs Committee is to enrich our City through the promotion of understanding, respect, & appreciation of the many cultures of Gaithersburg. Interested in volunteering & helping plan Heritage Month celebrations? Please e-mail [email protected].
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