Native American Heritage

Native American Heritage

The history, heritage, and culture of Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians are a major part of America's history. dating back thousands of years to the original inhabitants of the land. November has been designated Native American Heritage Month but we acknowledge and celebrate the significance of our Native American community throughout the year.

It is important to understand the longstanding history that has brought our community to reside on this land, and to seek to understand our place within that history. Land acknowledgements do not exist in a past tense, or historical context: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation.

Join the conversation on social media or learn more about Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawai'ian history and heritage by using #IndigenousHeritageMonth, #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth. Below we have some of our past discussions and discussions led by the Corning, Inc. Native American Council.

Native Women Historical Injustice Native Women and Mothers

Learn about the power and influence of Native Women.

Watch the video:

Learn about the historical injustices imposed on Native Americans.

Watch the video:

Celebrate the Power of Native Women and Mothers.

Watch the video:


Indigenous Peoples' Day
The is intended to “honor the sovereignty, resilience and immense contributions that Native Americans have made to the world.”. On October 8, 2021 President Joe Biden signed a presidential proclamation declaring October 11 to be a national holiday. Indigenous Peoples’ Day Explained. On June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day (Journée nationale des peuples autochtones) recognizes and celebrates the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Indigenous peoples of Canada.

National MMIW Awareness Day 
May 5 is recognized as National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. It was in response to the murder of Hanna Harris on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation and other abductions and killings of Native women across the United States. When a mother, daughter, or sister goes missing communities understand action is needed immediately. Silence is being replaced with the understanding of the urgency to act—alerting tribal leadership, reporting to law enforcement, not accepting the “no action response,” but demanding a “yes crisis-mode response.” Click here to learn more. #MMIWSupport
national indigenous peoples day in canada

The Red Dress Exhibit

The crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) is not new. It is part of the spectrum of violence experienced by Native American (Indigenous) Women

missing and murdered indigenous women. the red dress project in corning, new york

Why is this happening?

These women often go missing due to sexual assault and domestic violence committed by non-Native perpetrators. The majority of violent acts are committed by non-Native people on Native-owned land. Due to the understanding of the applicable federal, state, local, and tribal laws it’s difficult to prosecute the crimes. Many go unresolved.

  • 1 in 3 Native women is sexually assaulted during her life.
  • 67% of these assaults are perpetrated by non-Natives.
  • Murder is the third-leading cause of death among Native American/Alaska Native Women.

Why Red?

In various tribes, red is known to be the color only spirits see. It is hoped that by displaying red dresses we can call back the missing spirits of our women and children so that we may lay them to rest.


Startling Statistics

In the US, Native American women are more than twice as likely to experience violence than any other demographic

  • 1 in 3 Native women is sexually assaulted during her life.
  • 67% of these assaults are perpetrated by non-Natives.
  • Murder is the third-leading cause of death among American Indian/Alaska Native Women.
  • In 2016, 5,712 cases of MMIWG were reported in the US, only 116 of them where logged in DOJ database
  • 84% of Native Women have experienced violence in their lifetime (Source: National Institute of Injustice)


The REDress Project by Jaime Black is a public art installation that was created in response to the missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW) epidemic in Canada and the United States. The on-going project began in 2010 and commemorates missing and murdered indigenous women from the First Nations, Inuit, Métis (FNIM), and Native American communities by hanging empty red dresses in a range of environments. The project has also inspired other artists to use red to draw attention to the issue of MMIW, and prompted the creation of Red Dress Day.


Domestic Violence

The Net, Steuben County 

Salvation Army Safehouse, Chemung County

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Human Trafficking

National Human Trafficking Resource Center

Indigenous Specific Resources

Seven Dancers Coalition, Local

StrongHearts Native Helpline, National 

National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center

Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (National)

The Katherine P. Douglas Center for Diversity at SUNY Corning Community College, the Rockwell Museum and Corning, Incorporated brought attention to the plight of these peoples with the Red Dress Exhibit in May 2021.

To learn more about SUNY CCC and its Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives, contact Babatunde Ayanfodun