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Each year, North Carolina proclaims the month of November as American Indian Heritage Month.  The North Carolina American Indian Heritage Commission is responsible for assisting the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources in this statewide observance honoring the rich cultural contributions of American Indians, primarily through promotion of the annual American Indian Heritage Celebration hosted by the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh.

The NC AIHC will be developing a strategic marketing plan with NC DNCR's Division of Marketing & Communications Team for the promotion of the next American Indian Heritage Month in 2023.

27th Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration flyer; features a photo of a hand drum with the eight contemporary tribes of North Carolina.

The North Carolina American Indian Heritage Commission is working with the North Carolina Historical Marker Division at the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources to create markers noting each existing state-recognized tribe in North Carolina.  Applications for each tribe are being written up with notations documenting the significance of the tribe to the state of North Carolina.  Tribes will have the ability to select the placement site of their own tribal historical marker. It could be outside their tribal government building, a place of significance near their tribal headquarters, a historical site in the community, or a site that would be highly visible (a popular roadway, intersection, church, ceremonial site, etc.).

Photo of Kituwah North Carolina Highway Historical Marker, which reads: "Cherokee mother town/ Council house stood on mound here. Town was destroyed, 1761, by Col. James Grant's forces."

American Indians worked hard during segregation to ensure their children received an education and had the same opportunities afforded other school-age children, regardless of race. Inability to attend white or black schools led to the opening of numerous Indian schools throughout the state. The North Carolina American Indian Heritage Commission will work to identify and record the location of these historic schools. Once identified, these sites will be assigned GIS numbers to help mitigate any instances where the land where the school once stood could be disturbed. For some of the more renowned schools, the Commission will pursue private grants and funding to erect historic markers.

In times past, oral histories were shared between elders and adults and young people within their communities. With our fast paced and transient world we live in, these opportunities no longer exist. We must take the time and use the methods we have available to capture those stories before it’s too late.

The North Carolina American Indian Heritage Commission is partnering with the Oral History Unit in the Division of State Archives to gather information on the collection of oral histories of individuals within our tribal communities.  We are collecting names of individual tribal members whose stories need to be captured rather than lost with their passing.


The North Carolina American Indian Heritage Commission is planning to work with Carolina K-12 to produce modules and lesson plans on American Indian heritage and contemporary life experiences. This will complement the work of the State Advisory Council on Indian Education.

The North Carolina American Indian Heritage Commission will work to compile a booklet highlighting one deceased tribal leader from each of our tribal and urban Indian communities. The plan is to have this ready for publication in mid-2023.