5 Local Spots to Celebrate National Native American Heritage Month

Emma PatersonNovember 15, 2023
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Sweet fry bread served at The Fry Bread House | Photo by Mirelle Inglefield
Sweet fry bread served at The Fry Bread House | Photo by Mirelle Inglefield

Only about 30 years have passed since the landmark legislation that declared November as Native American Heritage Month. Arizona is home to more than 22 federally recognized tribes. Here are a few spots in the Valley to experience their authentic culture, cuisine and customs. 

The Fry Bread House
Founded in 1992 by Cecelia Miller, a member of the Tohono O’odham tribe, this Phoenix staple serves fry bread tacos, a deep fried dough with your choice of beef, sweet fry bread stews and more items with a Mexican influence.
4545 N. Seventh Ave., Phoenix, 602-351-2345, frybreadhouseaz.com

Sewell’s Indian Arts
This Old Town Scottsdale shop has been family-owned and -operated for nearly four decades. Here, you can find traditional Kachinas carved by Hopi peoples from the roots of cottonwood trees. The store also carries Storyteller dolls, handcrafted jewelry and pottery made by various Native artists.
7087 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale, 480-945-0962, buyindianarts.com

Emerson Fry Bread
This Phoenix-area food truck is known for its Navajo tacos and fry bread. Its unique lemonades are worth a try as well, with rave reviews online. One-of-a-kind flavors include prickly pear and “sunset,” served in mason jars. Often found in hospital parking lots throughout the Valley, the Emerson Fry Bread food truck is popular among Phoenix’s nurse population.
For more information and daily locations, follow Emerson Fry Bread on Facebook.

Heard Museum
For nearly a century, this museum has grown its collections, programming and events focused on the history and culture of Native Americans. The Heard Museum displays artifacts as well as art, including some for sale, from local Native American artists.
2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-252-8840, heard.org

S’edav Va’aki Museum
Formerly known as the Pueblo Grande Museum, this East Phoenix archaeological site was once inhabited by the Hohokam. A short trail guides visitors through the site, replicated houses and other recreations of the Hohokam era. Three separate galleries boast information, hands-on kids’ activities, and a gift shop offering Native American art and jewelry.
4619 E. Washington St., Phoenix, 602-495-0901, svmfoundation.org