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November is Native American Heritage Month

Logo for Native American Heritage Month

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, South Washington County Schools’ American Indian Cultural Liaison, Brittney Amitrano, is sharing some facts about Native Americans in Minnesota and opportunities to learn more about Native American culture.

For instance, did you know District 833 has more than 300 students who identify as American Indian? Some of the tribes that are represented include Mdewakanton, Anishinaabe (Ojibwe, Chippewa), Lakota, Ute, Ho-Chunk Nation and Hidatsa. District 833 has an American Indian Parent Advisory Committee that provides programs and services for these students through the development of an educational plan.

In her new role as American Indian Cultural Liaison, Amitrano works with a committee to help American Indian students and their families navigate the school system so students can reach their full potential.

Membership in the committee is open to all parents/guardians of American Indian Education students. Secondary students are also welcome to serve on the committee.

Amitrano started with District 833 this fall. She is Hidatsa/Lakota and currently enrolled in the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. Amitranto holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of South Dakota. She also has previous experience working with American Indian youth, as well as, with youth and families in crisis.

Below are more facts about American Indians in Minnesota:

  • There are 11 tribal reservations and communities in Minnesota.
  • There are seven Ojibwe reservations in Minnesota including Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, Red Lake, White Earth.
  • There are four Dakota communities in Minnesota including Prairie Island, Shakopee Mdewakanton, Upper Sioux, Lower Sioux.
  • In total, there are 326 Indian reservations in the United States.
  • Not all of the country's 567 recognized tribes have a reservation—some tribes have more than one reservation, while some share reservations.
  • There are vast cultural differences between tribes and over 200 different languages in the tribal nation.

If you would like to learn more about the tribes in Minnesota there are many opportunities this month including:

Turquoise is a symbol of friendship, harmony, and fellowship in Native American cultures. Families and students are encouraged to wear turquoise on Nov. 2, 9, 16 and 30 to commemorate Native American Heritage Month. We want to see your photos in turquoise share them on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #NAheritagemonth833 or email them to bamitran@sowashco.org.