Honoring American Indian History and Culture: North Carolina 2020 Indian Heritage Month Celebration

American Indian Heritage Month

Named as a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society, the North Carolina Indian Heritage Month Celebration is one of the most anticipated festivities hosted by the NC Museum of History each year. American Indian artists, performers, scholars, historians, and other representatives from North Carolina’s eight state-recognized tribes and Urban Indian Communities came together to share their knowledge, skills and cultural heritage over a two-day period beginning November 20 through 21. For the first time, the celebration was held virtually as a safety precaution due to COVID-19.

However, despite the challenges of the pandemic, the Indian Heritage Month Celebration was a success including presentations by state government leaders such as the Honorable Governor Roy Cooper, DOA Secretary Machelle Sanders, NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Susi Hamilton, and several tribal leaders from across the state. The event was live-streamed and included virtual interactive and on-demand videos of performances by American Indian artists, panel discussions and cultural art demonstrations.

This year, the Indian Heritage Month Celebration also met a new attendance record, receiving world-wide participation.

  • This year’s event welcomed 18,135 attendees
  • Attendees were from 82 of NC’s 100 counties
  • There were also several out-of-state attendees, a total participation from 19 states
  • The event received participation from outside the US, a total of 2 foreign countries

The NC Indian Heritage Month Celebration is made possible through a collaboration between the NC Museum of History, North Carolina’s Indian Tribes and Organizations and the NC Commission of Indian Affairs.

Missed the event? View highlights from the 2020 Indian Heritage Month Celebration here. Also, read Governor Roy Cooper’s proclamation honoring American Indian Heritage Month.

Greg Richardson, Commission of Indian Affairs