The United States was originally settled by Native Americans. Though distant, I have a stake in the heritage of the Native Americans via an Uncle who was fully Blackfoot. As European settlers came into the Americas they pushed to Native Americans to the edge of oblivion. This was nothing new to the Europeans since Europe was constantly at war. But in fairness we also need to remember the Native Americans were nearly always at war with one another as well. Like it or not, humans are war like people. The day was first proclaimed in 1939 by Governor Culbert Olsen in California. In 1968 the new Governor of California, Ronald Reagan set it on the 4th Friday of September.
How to celebrate – Look for the good in all people. Visit the traditions of the Native Americans in, and from, your area. Read about the Native Americans verse the Europeans.
Archery has been with us since 2800 B.C., or perhaps even longer. It became a major weapon against the Vikings. It helped the raiding Asian tribes drive the Romans back to Rome and it served the Native Americans both as a weapon and as a tool for hunting. The longbow helped bring Knights down to their knees, equaled the power of female warriors against male warriors, and filled page after page of folklore with Elves, Woodsmen and Hunger Games.
William Tell saved himself, and his son, by splitting an apple in two, using a crossbow to accomplish this feat, proving himself the master archer of all time.
In other words, archery has been around for a long time, and though it lost popularity for a while it is making a strong comeback today.
It appeared as a sport in the 1900 Olympics, being phased out again after 1920.
In 1972 it reappeared and has been an event ever since. It may never reach the heights again it once held for mankind but it still holds relevance in the world today.
In fact, NASP (National Archery in the Schools Program) is growing daily in popularity. The program teaches students how to use the weapon as well as how to respect it. The program is operated by Roy Grimes who welcomes any questions you may have about putting such a program in your school.
It takes discipline and skill to become an Archer, lessons that go way beyond the sport itself. It should be remembered though, that a bow and arrow are considered weapons, and in the right (or wrong) hands can be very deadly.
How to celebrate: Take an archery class. Read the story of William Tell. Watch the Hunger Games.