This week kicks off Native American Heritage Month, which is a federally-recognized designation celebrating the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, contributions and histories of Native people in the U.S.

Native American Heritage Months encourages non-Native individuals to educate themselves about the history, culture, and current issues impacting Native Nations and indigenous communities.

By seeking out authentic cultural experiences, literature, and other educational resources, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of the culture and history behind the 574 federally-recognized Tribes and Native Hawaiians. This increased awareness can foster empathy, reduce stereotypes, and promote cultural sensitivity in interactions with members of Native Nations and communities.

Kicking off National Native American Heritage Month, AIANTA is sharing 15 cultural protocols travelers should know before visiting Native homelands in the U.S. While every Native Nation and community of Native America is different, follow these general guidelines for visiting Native lands.

Each Native Nation and community, in Native America makes the decision on how best to balance tradition with accommodating visitors for enjoyable experiences. However, to avoid misunderstandings or violations of their traditions, Native Nations and communities ask that visitors follow a basic code of conduct to ensure the protection of sacred and ceremonial areas, including the preservation of historical artifacts.

Keep an eye on AIANTA and social channels this month for new cultural heritage experiences and new listings from its renowned travel site, !

AIANTA is the only national organization dedicated to advancing cultural heritage tourism in Native Nations and communities across the United States.