In honor of the Natives

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In honor of American Indian Month, we’d like to share some interesting facts about Native American history and facts and figures of the first inhabitants of our country.


The first American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1916 in New York. Red Fox James, a Blackfeet Indian, rode horseback from state to state, getting endorsements from 24 state governments, to have a day to honor American Indians.
In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional resolution designating November 1990 as “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations have been issued every year since 1994.
As of the 2011 American Community Survey, the nation’s population of American Indians and Alaska Natives is 5.1 million, including those of more than one race. They made up 1.6 percent of the total population. Of this total, about half were American Indian and Alaska Native only, and about half were American Indian and Alaska Native in combination with one or more other races.
The projected population of American Indians and Alaska Natives, including those of more than one race is 8.6 million on July 1, 2050. They would comprise 2 percent of the total population.
There are 14 states with more than 100,000 American Indian and Alaska Native residents as of the 2011 American Community Survey. These states are California, Oklahoma, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Washington, North Carolina, New York, Florida, Michigan, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Minnesota.
There were 324 federally recognized American Indian reservations in 2010, and 566 federally recognized Indian tribes. All in all, excluding Hawaiian Home Lands, there are 617 American Indian and Alaska Native legal and statistical areas for which the Census Bureau provides statistics.
In the 2010 Census, the tribal groupings with 100,000 or more responses for the American Indian and Alaska Native alone-or-in-any combination population were Cherokee (819,105), Navajo (332,129), Choctaw (195,764), Mexican American Indian (175,494), Chippewa (170,742), Sioux (170,110), Apache (111,810) and Blackfeet (105,304).
The number of American Indian and Alaska Native family households in 2011 (households with a householder who was American Indian and Alaska Native alone) was 557,425. Of these, 56.6 percent were married-couple families, including those with children.
Twenty-seven percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives alone 5 and older speak a language other than English at home, compared with 20.8 percent for the nation as a whole.
There were 153,223 American Indian and Alaska Native alone veterans of the U.S. armed forces in 2010.