Hill celebrates 2017 AIAN

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Have you ever wondered about American Indian and Alaskan Native milestones?

It began with the United States’ relationship with individual American Indian nations from 1778 to 1871 through treaties that recognized and established rights, benefits, and conditions.

The oldest bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior is the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It was established in 1824 and was a key player in the treaty-making process and creating government-to-government entities.

When the governmental authority of the tribes was first tested in the 1830s, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall articulated a fundamental principle that has guided the evolution of federal Indian law: Tribes retain certain inherent powers of self-government as “domestic dependent nations.”

Since the exploration of the New World and the expansion of the United States of America, American Indians and Alaskan Natives have been woven into American history. These groups hold citizenship, have the right to vote, serve in the military, and hold public office.

In 2007, the estimated population of American Indians and Alaskan Natives was 4.5 million, or 1.5 percent of the total U.S. population. Currently, there are 561 federally recognized tribes with an estimated 2 million enrolled.

Proclamations issued by Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama designate November as National American Indian Heritage Month. As we celebrate the contributions of American Indians and Alaskan Natives, we encourage everyone to learn more about the cultures, traditions, and history of the many tribes.

The AIAN council would like to formally invite Team Hill to the Gerrity Memorial Library on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 6 p.m. to enjoy a Trivia Night. This event is open to families and friends of all ages and allows for competition against one another or with each other. Refreshments will be available and prizes will be handed out. Pamphlets will be available with more detailed information about American Indians and Alaskan Natives.