The Annual Native American Recognition Days held each year during the months of October and November in the greater Phoenix area.
Community volunteers from different nonprofit organizations and community groups come together to host events sharing our beautiful heritage and culture. One can learn a lot about the history of a tribe through our artwork, songs and dance. Native Americans have long expressed our unique beliefs and traditions through the arts. Often, these were handed down through the generations from one family member to other family members and therefore not documented by the written word. Music, art and dance are not solely artistic expressions; they are more importantly representations of our cultural identity, world views and spiritual beliefs.
Please take time to learn more about Native American Recognition Days and the people who make it happen by perusing this website and attending some of the events. Events are open to the general public. We look forward to seeing you at many of the family friendly events scheduled this year!
Native American Recognition Days began in 1982 as a one day celebration consisting of a community dinner where awards were presented to community leaders. In that year, several community leaders, spearheaded by Phyllis BigPond, former Director of the Phoenix Indian Center, simply held a banquet. Phyllis said, "We need to create a way to honor our leaders." Eventually, more events were added lengthening the event to a week, at which time the name was changed to Native American Recognition Week. The committee also implemented an annual theme which continues to this day. Over the years, the award categories were revised and the community events grew to cover the months of October and November. It wasn't until the mid to late 90's that Native American Recognition Week was changed to Native American Recognition Days.
RESEARCH BY NARD HISTORY COMMITTEE, 2008
Marla Rowe, Dennis Eagleman,
Bianca Hernandez, Carolyn O'Neal
1987 - "Traditions and Transitions”
1989 - "Youth, the Culture of the Future”
1992 - (unknown)
1993 - "Maintaining Our Cultural Identity”
1994 - "Taking Responsibility for Future Generations"
1995 - "Taking Responsibility for Future Generations - A Lifetime Journey”
1996 - "Taking Responsibility for Future Generations - A Lifetime Journey”
1997- "Taking Responsibility for Future Generations…a Lifetime Journey"
1998 - (unknown)
1999 - "Native Pride: A Celebration of Traditions"
2000 - "Strengthening Family Unity"
2001 - “Tribal Games: It's About Skill, Strength and Endurance”
2002 - "20 Years of Celebrating the Beauty of Our Culture"
2003 - "A Reunion of Kinship, Pride and Spirit"
2004 - "Standing Together: Past Present and Future"
2005 - "Honoring Our Modern Day Warriors"
2006 - "Native Voices: Inspiring Our Communities"
2007 - "25 Years of Celebrating Native American Cultures and Communities"
2008 - "Connecting People, Connecting Communities: We Are All Related"
2009 - "Preserving Mother Earth"
2011 - "Ancestral Treasurers: Expressions Through Art, Music & Dance"
2011 - "Celebrating Indian Women of Courage and Vision"
2012 - "30 Years Strong! Strengthening Future Generations through Cultural Awareness"