November is National Native American Heritage Month. This month gives all Americans the opportunity to celebrate the legacy of the first people who called this land home.

I am a member of Cherokee Nation and one of only four Native Americans in Congress. Being Cherokee is an important part of my heritage. Like many Native Americans, my wife and I are raising our children on the same plot of land where my ancestors have been for generations.

Native Americans have a unique opportunity to educate their children and fellow Americans about the legacy and hardships Native Americans have overcome. We know the stories of our ancestors and we pass them on to future generations. Our history and our sovereignty are what bind us together.

Earlier this month, I joined several of my colleagues in introducing a resolution recognizing the month of November as National Native American Heritage Month. The resolution recognizes the contributions of Native Americans along with the need to strengthen the United States’ government-to-government relationship with Native Nations.

I am proud to embrace my Cherokee heritage and I believe that our heritage and traditions should be celebrated not only this month, but year-round.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) represents the second district in the U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached through, and at 3109 Azalea Park Drive, Muskogee, OK, 74401, 918-687-2533 or 202-225-2701.