Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Heritage Month dates back to the 95th Congress (1977-78) when it was introduced that a week in May should be designated to commemorate the accomplishments of AAPIs. A week long honor continued for many years until President George H.W. Bush issued Presidential Proclamation 6130 designating May 1990 as the first “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month”. In 1992, Congress passed into law that May is designated as Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Month. 

Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have a rich heritage thousands of years old and have both shaped the history of the United States and had their lives dramatically influenced by moments in its history. Let’s highlight the stories of their triumphs, perseverance, and contributions as we also recognize how people of today continue to share and preserve their natural and cultural heritage.

How to Honor Asian American and Pacific Islander  Heritage Month

Here are some national and local resources for you to explore this month to honor AAPI Heritage Month:

  • Asian and Pacific Islander peoples in all walks of life have played a profoundly important role in American history, contributing to and shaping the rich heritage of the United States in many ways. Explore their stories and their legacy by visiting the units of the National Park System and other places listed in the National Register of Historic Places, most of which are National Historic Landmarks. 
  • Seattle Chinatown Historic District - Seattle’s Chinatown Historic District has been the focal point of the city’s Asian community since the early 20th century. Chinatown was the heart of the most extensive Asian community in Washington State and the size and vitality of the district attracted thousands of immigrants to Seattle. The Seattle Chinatown Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and sits within the larger International Special Review District, one of eight historic districts established by the city of Seattle. Today, the two districts are commonly referred to as the Seattle Chinatown International District.
  • Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience - The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience in Seattle, Washington is the only community-based museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to the history of pan-Asian Pacific Americans. Located in the heart of Seattle’s Chinatown Historic District, the museum is in a historic building constructed in 1910 by Chinese immigrants. It is now an affiliated area of the National Park Service. Plan a visit-they are open Friday-Sunday 10m-5pm!
  • Washington Panama Hotel in Seattle- National Historic Landmark - The Panama Hotel is located in the heart of Seattle, Washington's Chinatown-International District, the location of its Nihonmachi (Japantown) before World War II. The hotel has a long history of providing temporary lodging for immigrants from Japan who emigrated to Seattle and houses one of only two intact sentos (public bathhouses) in the United States. To visit and learn more, go here
  • Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial - Let it Not Happen Again. After the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japanese forces on December 7, 1941, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. This order gave authority to the War Department to create zones from which Japanese Americans could be excluded. The first exclusion area designated was Bainbridge Island. On March 30, 1942, the Japanese Americans living on Bainbridge Island were gathered at the Eagledale Ferry Dock and sent to the concentration camp in Manzanar, California before being transferred to Minidoka. The memorial is always OPEN.
  • Seattle Center Festál presents Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month Celebration in partnership with the Asian Pacific Directors Coalition. It seeks to preserve and promote the culture, heritage, and contributions of APIs in the Pacific Northwest region. The virtual event full of live music, dance, history and community stories will be broadcast online at from 12–2 p.m on May 2, 2021.  This is a free event and welcoming to all.
  • Join the National Museum of American History for an online exploration into key social studies topics, featuring museum resources from the Smithsonian. This episode will focus on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Join this webinar via YouTube Thursday, May 6, 2021, 8-8:30 AM.
  • Standing Together Against Hate- Join the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center as they recognize the recent racism directed toward Asian families and have compiled a plethora of wonderful resources for all.


Help Provide Books Focused on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage

During the month of May, our DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee) will be continuing our Windows & Mirrors Book Drive in support and honor Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! ALL BOOKS PURCHASED WILL BENEFIT CANYON CREEK CLASSROOMS AND LIBRARY.

Find more details about this book drive and how you can help.



We want to bring attention to
National Observances & Commemorative Months
as well as UN International Days.
Check out our article about this!