DASD Recognizes Indian Heritage Month and Native American Heritage Month this November

South Asian families provided lunch, complimentary henna tattoos and information about their culture to staff at Marsh Creek Sixth Grade Center in celebration of Indian Heritage Month and Diwali.

Downingtown Area School District (DASD), its Cultural Equity Task Force team and the school community at large continue to make a concerted effort to celebrate many of our nation’s month-long observances. Once again, DASD is looking forward to the upcoming, district-wide programs and celebrations that are in store this year. This November, we highlight the celebration of Indian Heritage Month and Native American Heritage Month.

While the country does not officially recognize Indian Heritage Month as a celebrated holiday, DASD stands with the individuals in our community and aims to celebrate the successes and contributions of South Asians in this country and abroad. In DASD, Asians make up the largest minority group and, according to the US Census, Upper Uwchlan Township is home to the highest percentage of individuals of Asian decent in all of Pennsylvania. Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Justin Brown states, “it is always a great time to seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of South Asians in every area of endeavor throughout American history.”

In the month of November, parents, students and community members have planned school-wide activities at every DASD school. These programs and events will allow DASD students and staff to participate in a variety of activities celebrating the unique experiences and successes of the Indian Community, and will give people the opportunity to experience culture, music, food and customs. Additionally, DASD staff, parents and students will create video reflections celebrating the amazing contributions of the South Asian Community. For more information about the events in your school, contact your building principal.

November also highlights Native American Heritage Month. In 1990, former President George H.W. Bush issued a joint resolution designating November as National Native American Heritage Month. Each president thereafter has annually reissued this resolution in celebration of our Native America history. This November and every month, we celebrate the culture and heritage of these remarkable Americans who deeply enrich the quality and character of our nation. Downingtown Area School District recently adopted a land acknowledgement recognizing Chester County as the ancestral home of the Lenape people. As European settlers began encroaching on the Lenape land, the Lenape people were systematically, and in many cases, forcefully removed. The DEI Department will be hosting “A Night with the Lenape Community” on November 22 at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom, which will feature Adam DePaul. Adam DePaul is a Tribal Council Member of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania, where he also holds the positions of Storykeeper and Coordinator of the Rising Nation River Journey. He co-curates the Lenape Cultural Center in Easton, PA and the exhibit Existing Artistry, Enduring Presence: The Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania at Temple University.

While DASD schools continue to recognize and celebrate the month of November, there are numerous community activities scheduled within the greater Downingtown Area. Please check your local listings for events and programming. To learn more about DASD’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program, and to see examples of its program in action, please visit www.dasd.org/diversity.

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