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Native American Heritage


Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, former Director, Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y, was instrumental in implementing the first American Indian Day. For three years, he successfully influenced the Boy Scouts of America to honor a day for the "First Americans." In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day. It directed President, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapahoe, to call upon the country to observe such a day. Rev. 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. National Native American Heritage Month is observed in the month of November.