On August 3, 1990, President George H. W. Bush first declared the month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month when he signed a bill stating that “the President has authorized and requested to call upon Federal, State and local Governments, groups and organizations and the people of the United States to observe such month with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_Indian_Heritage_Month). It is also commonly referred to as Native American Heritage Month. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_Indian_Heritage_Month).
“Federal Agencies are encouraged to provide educational programs for their employees regarding Native American history, rights, culture and contemporary issues, to better assist them in their jobs and for overall awareness.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_Indian_Heritage_Month).
Locally, the Jodi G. Marquette American Indian Wills Clinic at Oklahoma City University School of Law allows law students working under the supervision of a licensed attorney to provide estate planning services to American Indians who own an interest in Indian land in Oklahoma. For more information, visit http://law.okcu.edu/?page_id=13854. This clinic is part of the Native American Legal Resource Center (NALRC), which “provides capacity building services to tribal communities and creates opportunities for students, faculty, staff and the broader University Community to utilize knowledge and resources to serve the needs of Indian Country in a culturally appropriate and efficient manner for a maximum positive impact.” (http://law.okcu.edu/?page_id=621).
Finally, the Law Library has created a display with books on various Native American topics, located in the lobby of Gold Star (pictured below). There are books about the Native American mascot controversy, Native American culture as it is depicted in mainstream American pop culture, as well as other contemporary issues. There are also many books about general Native American history.
By: Brian King, Reference Assistant, and Sabrina A. Davis, Reference Librarian