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5 Native American Heritage Month facts

“Kiowas Moving Camp,” painted in 1936, is one of five artworks featured in the new Post Office Murals stamp release. The painting is one of 16 at the historic Anadarko, OK, Post Office that depicts the ceremonial and social life of the Plains American Indians.

To mark Native American Heritage Month, here are five facts about the annual commemoration and the people it celebrates.

1. The first Native American Heritage Month was celebrated in 1990. President George H.W. Bush signed a joint resolution designating November as “National American Indian Heritage Month.” The name of the commemoration later evolved into Native American Heritage Month.

2. The American Indian and Alaska Native population is estimated to be around 6.8 million. This represents about 2 percent of the U.S. population, according to U.S. census data. The number is expected to rise to 10 million by 2060.

3. There are 326 distinct federally recognized American Indian reservations as of 2016. This number includes federal reservations and off-reservation trust land. There are 573 federally recognized Indian tribes as of 2018.

4. Almost 20 percent of Alaska’s population identifies as American Indian and Alaska Native. The state is followed by Oklahoma (13.7 percent), New Mexico (11.9 percent), South Dakota (10.4 percent) and Montana (8.4 percent).

5. The Postal Service has issued several stamps that honor American Indians. The first release to portray a uniquely Native American theme was the 4-cent Indian Hunting Buffalo stamp in 1898. The most recent stamp shows the “Kiowas Moving Camp” mural at the Anadarko, OK, Post Office, which is part of this year’s Post Office Murals stamp release.

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