Native American children

SPRINGFIELD – To honor the legacies of indigenous people across the country, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is proposing that the month of November be declared Native American Heritage Month in Illinois.

“Ensuring that the month of November is dedicated to paying tribute to the contributions and influences of Native Americans is the least we can do for a people who laid the foundation for our country,” Bennett said. “I’m thrilled to see this legislation move forward so we can commemorate their culture and tradition.” 

 Bennett’s proposal would recognize the influences of Native Americans on American history, achievement, culture and innovation during the month of November.

Native Americans, who were the first inhabitants of the U.S., have helped shape American culture through food, medicine, literature and the arts. A dedicated month would provide the opportunity to highlight these contributions, raise awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and center stories of the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.

“Native American Heritage Month would be a chance for Illinois to learn more about its history, as well as about the rich and diverse Native American communities that still live here today,” Bennett said. 

Senate Bill 1689 passed the Senate State Government Committee with bipartisan support Wednesday and moves to the Senate floor for further consideration.