November is Native American Heritage Month, proclaimed by Governor Inslee as a time to “honor the unique heritage of this continent’s First People and reaffirm the commitment to respect each tribe’s sovereignty and cultural identity.” We give thanks for the leadership of the tribes and their approach to whole person care. Our team continues to learn from them and aim to grow those practices in other parts of the North Sound region.
While the media focuses on the day after Thanksgiving as “Black Friday” we hope you will join us in two other (more important) ways. First, Washington is one of several states that celebrates the day after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day, naming it a state and school holiday. But the holiday is only one part; the proclamation also calls for educating students about the history achievements, and contributions of the tribes. Washington is rich in its 29 tribes and you can learn more about each tribe at this link. Spend at least part of your day learning about the Washington’s tribes, their history and culture.
Second, the day after Thanksgiving is a day where we are called to Opt-Outside. You can #optoutside or check out this link at the Nature Conservancy to find ways to get out and connect to the outdoors. The tribes we work with have known the connection between nature and health since time immemorial, and continue to show leadership in positioning the health of our communities, ecosystems, and wildlife as inextricably linked. They might encourage us to ‘Opt Outside’ every day to find the path to our wellness and wholeness.
We wish you wellness and gratitude this week, and hope you will celebrate your connectedness to others who were here before us, are here in our communities now, and the amazing land that surrounds us.