Native American History Month is a time for recognition of the significant contributions the indigenous Americans make to the establishment and growth of the United States, as well as to commemorate the rich culture and heritage of the Native American peoples. November 1990 was the first “National American Indian Heritage Month.” which was an effort that was approved by President George H. W. Bush. Every year since 1994 November has been declared Native American Heritage Month (in different variations of the name).

Native American Heritage Month was not a new idea in the 1990s. Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca man, who was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, New York was one of the first people to push for the recognition of Native American presence and history.  “American Indian Day” (predecessor of Indigenous People’s Day) was first declared in New York by the governor of the time in 1916.

Still, an underrepresented population and culture, Native American and Native Alaskan people are significantly underrepresented in STEM fields. Madeline Gupta’s Tedx Talk “Native American Underrepresentation in STEM Fields” touches on many important points as to why this is happening and what can be done to fix this problem.


Here are some indigenous people of note in the STEM world:


  1. Western Oregon is home to the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Learn more about the Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde here.
  2. Visit to find what occupied native lands you inhabit.
  3. Learn more about Native American History Month and find events here.
  4. Panel Discussion: Pathways to STEM careers for Native American Women and Girls by the Museum of Native American History – offers great insight into tech education in Native American populations
  5. Indigenous In STEM Panel by the Native American Cultural Center and Association of Native Americans At Yale. Hear from Indigenous professionals across several STEM fields.
  6.  A great read: Just 18 Really Awesome Native Folks in STEM | by Women of Silicon Valley.
  7. Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science
  8. American Indian Science and Engineering Society
  9. Two Eyed Seeing – NASA & Indigenous Astronomy – For the Benefit of All
  10. NASA – Native American Heritage Month

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