Caregiver’s Guide to Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month

May 5, 2023


Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month celebrates the contributions that generations of AANHPIs have made to American history, society, and culture.

In 1992, Congress established May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to coincide with two key milestones: the arrival of the nation’s first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and Chinese workers’ pivotal role in building the transcontinental railroad (completed May 10, 1869). In 2021, a presidential proclamation expanded this to include Native Hawaiians in celebration of their unique history, culture, and contributions.


Learning and using accurate terms encourages cultural understanding and sensitivity. Here are a few of the most common:

Asian: Refers to people with origins in the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent.

Native Hawaiian: Refers to the indigenous or native people of the Hawaiian Islands.

Pacific Islander: Refers to people having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

Samoan: Refers to natives or inhabitants of Samoa.


When children and youth are placed into foster care, away from parents, siblings, and extended family—they can lose their cultural identity. That is why supporting, encouraging, and honoring a child’s race, ethnicity, and culture is so important. While this may seem hard, one way to support a strong cultural identity is through literacy!

Here are three books we recommend:

  • Asian Adventures A-Z Foods | Yobe Qiu
  • When You Trap a Tiger | Tae Keller
  • Asian Americans Who Inspire Us | Analiza Quiroz Wolf