native amer 032421SPRINGFIELD – To honor the legacies of indigenous people across the country, State Senator Scott Bennett’s (D-Champaign) proposal to make the month of November Native American Heritage Month in Illinois cleared the Senate Wednesday.

“I’m thrilled to see this legislation advance so we can pay tribute to those who laid the foundation for our country,” Bennett said. “Native Americans have a rich and diverse culture, and their contributions and influences deserve to be recognized.”

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 Native Americans have worked to conquer these challenges.

“Native American Heritage Month would be an opportunity for Illinoisans to learn more about its history and celebrate their culture and traditions,” Bennett said. 

Senate Bill 1689 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and moves to the House floor for further consideration.