Statement by NOW President Toni Van Pelt:
WASHINGTON – As we wind down the month-long observation of November’s Native American Heritage Month, the National Organization for Women celebrates the history and legacy of the first American feminists. Native American women were more than just mothers of the tribes’ children—they were builders, warriors, farmers, and craftswomen. Many Native American tribes believed that women had more healing power and a deeper connection to the spirit world. And in many tribes, the families were matrilineal—instead of women leaving their families to join their husbands, it was the opposite. Men joined the families of the women they married and their sons left to join their wives’ families.
It’s only fitting that the first two Native American women were elected to Congress during this year’s Native American Heritage Month. NOW honors the rich culture, traditions, and accomplishments of indigenous people, and we recommit ourselves to working with Native people to meet the challenges and overcome the obstacles faced by this vibrant, diverse community. We are all enriched by Native American heritage—this month, and every month.
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