Quiz: Do you and your kids know these Native American Heritage Month facts?

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November is Native American Heritage Month — also known as American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month — and November 24 is Native American Heritage Day. Whether your family is part of an Indigenous community or not, you can observe the heritage month by learning more about the wide diversity of Native American cultures, history, and current events.

Although many kids learn about Native Americans during history lessons in school, Native American cultures are not a thing of the past. Beyond the crucial history and prehistory of North America, contemporary Native Americans continue to contribute in so many areas including art and culture, politics and leadership, food and businesses, and much, much more.

Here’s a Native American Heritage Month fact to start you off: The first American Indian Day kicked off in 1915, but it took until 1990 for a national heritage month to be signed into law by a U.S. president.

Quiz your family on these Native American Heritage Month facts

Native American cultures and history are so rich, varied, and ongoing, that every family living on U.S. soil — whether Native American or Indigenous or not — always has more to learn. The following questions and answers make great conversation starters with kids during Native American Heritage Month and beyond! 

Of course, there are so many other Native American Heritage Month facts that can’t possibly fit into a 10-question quiz! So let these questions inspire you to continue the exploration and look into topics such as Native American tribes in your state, Native American children’s books and movies, Indian boarding schools history, Thanksgiving from the Wampanoag perspective, and the wide array of Indigenous music and dance.

Native American Heritage Month Quiz
1. How many Native American tribes are there within the United States?
Answer: C) There are currently 574 federally recognized Native American tribes, and there are about 326 federal Indian reservations. About 22 percent of Native American people live on tribal lands.
2. Which of the following is NOT one of the five largest Native American tribes today?
Answer: C) The five largest Native American tribes are the Navajo Nation (with almost 400,000 people), Cherokee Nation (nearly 300,000 people), Choctaw Nation (more than 250,000 people), Chippewa tribe (more than 200,000 people), and Sioux tribe (more than 200,000 people). The smaller Seminole Tribe of Florida has almost 3,000 members, and is known as the only tribe in America that never signed a peace treaty.
3. What is the name of the animated TV show for preschoolers that depicts a family from the Chumash and Cowlitz tribes?
Answer: B) Spirit Rangers is a Netflix show for ages three and up that features a group of Chumash/Cowlitz siblings who help protect a California national park. To complete their missions, the three kids turn into “spirit rangers,” taking the form of a grizzly bear cub, a red-tailed hawk, and a turtle. The series was created by Karissa Valencia, who is of Mexican and Chumash heritage and grew up partly on a reservation. Valencia works with a diverse team of Native American writers, voice actors, animators, and other production staff. Molly of Denali is another animated series for young kids with an Alaskan Native main character from the Gwich’in/Koyukon/Dena’ina Athabascan tribes.
4. Wilma Mankiller appears on U.S. currency as part of the American Women Quarters program. Who was Wilma Mankiller?
Answer: A) Wilma Mankiller, who lived from 1945 to 2010, was the first woman to be elected as principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998 for her leadership in improving housing, education, healthcare, and more for the Cherokee people. The U.S. quarter with her picture on it was issued in 2022. Other important Indigenous women from history appear on these limited edition quarters too, including Maria Tallchief, America’s first major prima ballerina, and Bessie Coleman, the first African American and first Native American woman pilot.
5. What is Project 562?
Answer: B) Project 562 is an art project by photographer Matika Wilbur, who is of Swinomish and Tulalip ancestry. She began it in 2012, when there were 562 federally recognized tribes, and her goal was to photograph someone from every single one of the tribes. She traveled around the country for about 10 years to complete this nearly impossible task, and ended up publishing the photos in a book that was released in 2023! The Project 562 online gallery is a great place to browse with kids and start conversations about the diversity of Native American cultures.
6. What do the Yup’ik, Inupiat, and Tlingit people have in common?
Answer: D) Yup’ik, Inupiat, and Tlingit are all Alaska Native communities. Alaska is the state with the highest concentration of Native American and Alaska Native people, at 22 percent of the state’s population (next is Oklahoma, at 16 percent). There are 11 distinct Native cultures within Alaska.
7. Which of these Native American children’s books with Indigenous authors/illustrators won the prestigious Caldecott Medal?
Answer: D) We Are Water Protectors, a picture book about environmental activism, won the Caldecott Medal in 2021. The illustrator, Michaela Goade, who is of Tlingit descent, was the first woman of color to win the prestigious award. Goade’s more recent picture book, Berry Song, was also named a Caldecott Honor (which is a runner-up to the Caldecott Medal prize) in 2023. All of the other excellent picture books on the list above have been critically acclaimed too — be sure to look for them at your library or bookstore!
8. Where is the Mashpee Wampanoag Museum located?
Answer: A) The Mashpee Wampanoag Museum is located on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. It is run by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, the native people of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island region. The tribe currently has more than 3,000 enrolled members. Visitors to the museum can learn about history, including the landing of the Mayflower, from the Wampanoag people’s point of view.
9. What does yá’át’ééh mean, and which Native American language is it from?
Answer: B) Yá’át’ééh is a greeting that means “Hello” or “It is good” in the Navajo language, which is also known as Diné Bizaad. There are nearly 170,000 Navajo/Diné Bizaad speakers in the world. Although many Indigenous languages have become dormant or extinct because they stopped being passed down in the education system or by families, some Native educators are currently working to revive their Indigenous languages. Curious families can check out these resources to learn more about the Choctaw, Lushootseed, Navajo, and Ojibwe languages.
10. The World Eskimo-Indian Olympics (WEIO), in which Indigenous communities compete in traditional games, are held every year in Fairbanks, Alaska. Which of the following is NOT a game in the WEIO?
Answer: C) Ear pull, greased pole walk, and blanket toss are just three of the competitive sports in the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. Other games include the knuckle hop, ear weight, Alaskan high kick, fish cutting, and Indian stick pull. Click here to explore a full list, with photos and descriptions, of the WEIO games with kids.

Learn about other history and heritage months with these trivia quizzes for families:

Joanna Eng is a staff writer and digital content coordinator at ParentsTogether. She lives with her wife and two kids in New York, where she loves to hike, try new foods, and check out way too many books from the library.