This month, the NY/NJ Minority Supplier Development Council proudly celebrates the contributions of Native Americans to our nation and economy. Native American entrepreneurs founded international restaurant chains, the largest casinos, successful financing companies, and indigenous art stores across the country. Native American businesses had an estimated buying power of $115 billion in 2018. The more than five billion Native Americans in the United States belong to 574 federally recognized tribes across our country. Celebrating Native American Heritage does not mean celebrating one culture, but rather recognizing and honoring the many diverse native nations and each of their unique histories and traditions.
During Native American Heritage Month, we celebrate the rich history of all Native Americans and recognize their ongoing strength through present hardships. Unfortunately, Native American nations are disproportionately hit by the Coronavirus pandemic, and indigenous businesses are working to recover from the economic ripples of the virus. During this time of difficulty, however, Native Americans continue to persevere and make history.
Native Americans continue to reclaim their culture and demand respect. This year alone, the Washington Redskins finally agreed to change their racially offensive team name after 50 years of pressure from Native Americans and activists. Also, the Kansas City Chiefs banned headdresses and face paint from their games after discussing the issue with Native American leaders. This month, we invite you to join Council leadership, members and clients as we celebrate these milestones and strive for additional change, education, and economic equality.
This Native American Heritage Month connect with and conduct business with Council-Certified Native American MBEs.