American Indian & Alaska Native Heritage Month
November is American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month - the perfect time to explore the rich history, culture and significant contributions made by the first Americans. This month is celebrated to recognize intertribal cultures and to educate the public about the heritage, history, art and traditions of American Indian and Alaska Native people. This year's celebration is extremely special in that it was preceded by the grand opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, marking a long-awaited venue for American Indians to unite, celebrate and share their culture with visitors throughout the world.

In recognition of this month-long event, GovBenefits.gov is highlighting a few of the benefit programs available to American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Special Diabetes Program for Indians
The Special Diabetes Program for Indians focuses on primary, secondary, and tertiary diabetic prevention and treatment and related data collection. For more information, visit the Special Diabetes Program for Indians.

Assistance for Indian Children with Severe Disabilities
The purpose of the program is to provide special education and related services to Native American children with severe disabilities. For more information, visit the Assistance for Indian Children with Severe Disabilities Program.

Indian Loans Economic Development
The purpose of the program is to assist individual American Indians in obtaining financing from private sources to promote business development initiatives on or near federally recognized Indian reservations. For more information, visit the Indian Loans Economic Development Program.

Native American Employment and Training Programs
This program supports employment and training activities for Native American, Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian individuals to develop their academic, occupational and literacy skills, make them more competitive in the workforce, and promote the economic and social development of their communities. For more information, visit the Native American Employment and Training Programs.

Indian Arts and Crafts Development
The purpose of the program is to encourage and promote the development of American Indian and Alaska Native arts and crafts. For more information, visit the Indian Arts and Crafts Development Program.

Additional news, information and assistance about American Indian and Alaska Native nationwide programs and initiatives may be found by visiting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at www.ihs.gov.