Engaging with Cultural Holidays: November & December 2023

Commemorate, learn about, and engage in upcoming diverse and cultural holidays through the resources and local events below.

Saturday, Nov. 11: Veterans Day

The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is home to over 352,000 veterans, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. That’s nearly a quarter of Texas’ entire veteran population. With such a large community living in our region, the Dallas Regional Chamber is proud to support and celebrate our nation’s veterans—especially on Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11.

Originally called Armistice Day, Veterans Day began in 1919 to commemorate those who fought in World War I. President Woodrow Wilson chose the date of Nov. 11 in recognition of the armistice agreement that ended the war. As the decades progressed, the term “armistice” failed to account for soldiers involved in World War II and the Korean War. At the urging of veterans’ service organizations, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day in 1954 and released the first Veterans Day Proclamation honoring all American veterans of all wars.

Despite the long history of Veterans Day, veterans today face challenges upon completing their service and returning to civilian life—in health care, housing, and the workplace. In 2022, although the unemployment rate for veterans (2.8%) was lower than for nonveterans (3.6%), the U.S. Department of Labor reports that only 47.9% of the veteran population participated in the workforce compared with 64.7% of the nonveteran population. To ensure that veterans are prioritized by their employers, companies can create policies that address veterans’ specific needs and allow them to capitalize on their unique skill sets.

Below are some resources to learn more about veterans and how to hire and support them in the workplace.

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How to Hire and Support Veterans in the Workplace:

November: Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month is celebrated every November to honor the many contributions Indigenous people have made to the United States.

Across the country, there are 574 federally recognized Native American tribes. Three federally recognized tribes live on reservations in Texas: the Alabama-Coushatta, Tigua, and Kickapoo. North Texas was the original home of many tribes, including the Caddo, Comanche, Kiowa, Tawakoni, and Wichita.

After Congress passed the Indian Relocation Act to encourage Native Americans to move into urban centers, including Dallas, in 1956, over 10,000 people from 82 tribes moved to the area. By 1983, about 20,000 Native Americans—or half of Texas’ Native American population—were living in West Oak Cliff and East Dallas. Today, Native Americans and Alaska Natives make up roughly 1% of the total U.S. population and the figure increases to 2.6% when two or more races are included. In the Dallas Region, Native Americans and Alaska Natives make up .08% of the population and 2.3% when including two or more races.

National efforts to honor Native Americans began in 1914, when Red Fox Skiuhushu, of the Blackfeet tribe, traveled from state to state on horseback to advocate for a dedicated day of observance. He secured endorsements from 24 state governments, and New York was the first state to celebrate “American Indian Day” in May 1916, with many other states following suit.

By 1986, Congress had extended the holiday to a week. Then in 1990, President George H. W. Bush declared November to be Native American Heritage Month. The City of Dallas recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day for the first time in 2019.

As we progress through the month of November, the Dallas Regional Chamber is proud to celebrate the Native American community in our region. Below are more resources to learn about observing Native American Heritage Month, especially in the workplace.

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Ways to Engage: