November is National Native American Heritage Month in which we observe and honor the rich history, culture and contributions of our nation's first peoples. The observance of National Native American Heritage Month is also representative of AmeriCorps' dedication to further racial equity and uplift the agency's core values – compassion, integrity and determination.
AmeriCorps has a long commitment of supporting Native American communities, partnering hand-in-hand to address the critical issues unique to their communities, and leveraging the culture of service that has existed in tribal communities for generations.
In September, AmeriCorps announced more than $3.4 million in funding, including grants and education awards, to 12 American Indian and Alaskan native Tribes and entities. The grants awarded will support more than 150 AmeriCorps members in Alaska, Arizona, California, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. A complete list of awards, including organizations and funding totals can be found online. This investment is part of the Administration’s larger commitment to create lasting change in Indian Country by strengthening tribal communities through education and economic development.
Many AmeriCorps members with native heritage, past and present, and our partner organizations committed themselves to national service through their work in AmeriCorps.
AmeriCorps member Jillian serves in Hoonah, AK with the Hoonah Indian Association to learn about the environmental conservation efforts from locals who are fighting for the preservation of their home and culture.
See how Jillian Schuyler is #GettingThingsDone as an environmental scientist serving in #AmeriCorpsVISTA in Hoonah, Alaska - focusing on #climatechange and learning from locals who are fighting for the conservation of their home and culture. #NationalNativeAmericanHeritageMonth pic.twitter.com/J7aCdIIG80— AmeriCorps VISTA (@AmeriCorpsVISTA) November 5, 2021
In Arizona, the Gila River Indian Community is currently revising its Veterans Serving Veterans AmeriCorps program to expand services in support of broader community employment and training opportunities. And in Billings, Montana, Colleen was thrilled to return to the classroom this fall as a volunteer for the St. Vincent Healthcare of Billings AmeriCorps Foster Grandparent Program. Colleen is a member of the Assiniboine Tribe and helps to raise students’ self-esteem and love of learning, many of whom are also members of her tribe or the Gros Ventre Tribe.
AmeriCorps members continue to #GetThingsDone in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. This month, celebrate the rich history, culture and contributions Native Americans, and at AmeriCorps we will continue to provide support, break down barriers and build bridges.