Skip to Main Content

Native American Heritage: Home


Native American Heritage 

Library Information

Library materials are available for all Harper College students and employees. In order to check out materials you must have a Harper ID card and be a a current student, employee or community member. ID cards may be picked up at the BLDG J box office.

Current Library Hours

Phone numbers:

Information Desk: 847.925.6184

Circulation Desk: 847.925.6584

Reference Desk: 847.925.6769

Interlibrary Loan:847.925.6869

About Native American History Month

What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose.

One of the very proponents of an American Indian Day was Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, who was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y. He persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to set aside a day for the “First Americans” and for three years they adopted such a day. In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting in Lawrence, Kans., formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day. It directed its president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapahoe, to call upon the country to observe such a day. Coolidge issued a proclamation on Sept. 28, 1915, which declared the second Saturday of each May as an American Indian Day and contained the first formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens.

The year before this proclamation was issued, Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Indians. On December 14, 1915, he presented the endorsements of 24 state governments at the White House. There is no record, however, of such a national day being proclaimed.

The first American Indian Day in a state was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of New York. Several states celebrate the fourth Friday in September. In Illinois, for example, legislators enacted such a day in 1919. Presently, several states have designated Columbus Day as Native American Day, but it continues to be a day we observe without any recognition as a national legal holiday.

In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994.

From The Library of Congress, et al. National Native American Heritage Month.

Census Data

Fastest-Growing American Indian and  Alaska Native (AIAN) Populations

10.1 million

The projected American Indian and Alaska Native population alone or in combination with other race groups on July 1, 2060. They would constitute 2.5% of the total population.
Source: 2017 National Population Projections  


The number of distinct federally recognized American Indian reservations in 2019, including federal reservations and off-reservation trust land. 
Source: U.S. Gazetteer Files  


The number of federally recognized Indian tribes in 2020.
Source: Bureau of Indian Affairs, 2019  


The number of single-race American Indian and Alaska Native veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces in 2019.
Source: 2019 American Community Survey 

See a detailed profile of the American Indian and Alaska Native population, alone or in combination with one or more other races, from the 2019 American Community Survey.

Source: US Census Bureau. “American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month: November 2020.” The United States Census Bureau,


Native American Tribes Inhabiting the site of Harper College

The tribes below inhabited the lands in the Palatine area surrounding Harper College:


Native American Tribes in Illinois

Native American tribes historically inhabiting what is now Illinois:

The Peoria and the Kaskaskia were two tribes within the larger Illiniwek Confederacy that also included the Cahokia, Michigamea, Moingwena and Tamaroa.  


Invasion of America

2020 List of Federally Recognized Tribes - Bureau of Indian Affairs

This notice publishes the current list of 574 Tribal entities recognized by and eligible for funding and services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) by virtue of their status as Indian Tribes.