President Obama’s National Native American Heritage Month Proclamation

ICTMN Staff
11/11/13

 

On October 31, President Barack Obama signed the following proclamation designating November as National Native American Heritage Month.

From Alaskan mountain peaks to the Argentinian pampas to the rocky shores of Newfoundland, Native Americans were the first to carve out cities, domesticate crops, and establish great civilizations. When the Framers gathered to write the United States Constitution, they drew inspiration from the Iroquois Confederacy, and in the centuries since, American Indians and Alaska Natives from hundreds of tribes have shaped our national life. During Native American Heritage Month, we honor their vibrant cultures and strengthen the government-to-government relationship between the United States and each tribal nation.

As we observe this month, we must not ignore the painful history Native Americans have endured – a history of violence, marginalization, broken promises, and upended justice. There was a time when Native languages and religions were banned as part of a forced assimilation policy that attacked the political, social, and cultural identities of Native Americans in the United States. Through generations of struggle, American Indians and Alaska Natives held fast to their traditions, and eventually the United States Government repudiated its destructive policies and began to turn the page on a troubled past.

My Administration remains committed to self-determination, the right of tribal governments to build and strengthen their own communities. Each year I host the White House Tribal Nations Conference, and our work together has translated into action. We have resolved longstanding legal disputes, prioritized placing land into trust on behalf of tribes, stepped up support for Tribal Colleges and Universities, made tribal health care more accessible, and streamlined leasing regulations to put more power in tribal hands. Earlier this year, an amendment to the Stafford Act gave tribes the option to directly request Federal emergency assistance when natural disasters strike their homelands. In March, I signed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which recognizes tribal courts' power to convict and sentence certain perpetrators of domestic violence, regardless of whether they are Indian or non-Indian. And this June, I moved to strengthen our nation-to-nation relationships by establishing the White House Tribal Council on Native American Affairs. The Council is responsible for promoting and sustaining prosperous and resilient Native American communities.

As we observe Native American Heritage Month, we must build on this work. Let us shape a future worthy of a bright new generation, and together, let us ensure this country's promise is fully realized for every Native American.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2013 as National Native American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to commemorate this month with appropriate programs and activities, and to celebrate November 29, 2013, as Native American Heritage Day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

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Comments

Cynthia Thompson's picture
Cynthia Thompson
Submitted by Cynthia Thompson on
This a turning point for all natives...Just hope that something gets done about living conditions on the reservations...No water on some...No jobs.. Shacks for houses.. The lists goes on...

Lalith's picture
Lalith
Submitted by Lalith on
Finally a US president stand up to recognize & appreciate the pride of the roots of this great nation. Until now there was not a single day or an event dedicated to recognize and treasure the the great heritage of Native Americans on USA. I am not an Indian but I am a proud US citizen who values the true roots of this great Nation. If we to bear good fruits from this great nation, we must show the respect to the roots of this Nation. Finally it too this many years to recognize that by a US president. Thank you and I give Thanks to the Native American Heritage as well.

Lalith's picture
Lalith
Submitted by Lalith on
Finally a US president stand up to recognize & appreciate the pride of the roots of this great nation. Until now there was not a single day or an event dedicated to recognize and treasure the the great heritage of Native Americans on USA. I am not an Indian but I am a proud US citizen who values the true roots of this great Nation. If we to bear good fruits from this great nation, we must show the respect to the roots of this Nation. Finally it took this many years to recognize that by a US president. Thank you and I give Thanks to the Native American Heritage as well.

genny watson quintal 's picture
genny watson qu...
Submitted by genny watson qu... on
Equal liberty and justice for the right of all tribal governments / reservations.

Haudenosaunee's picture
Haudenosaunee
Submitted by Haudenosaunee on
Thank you. Perhaps we can next change the name and mascot of the Washington team to something less offensive than a derogatory slur. It would be outrageous to call a sporting team the "village burners","baby killers", "slave-masters", "nazis", "niggers", "wet-backs", "retards", "kikes", "Huns", etc. Honor and respect begin by ending use of slurs and bullying tactics. Equality and justice demand both actions and words in order to begin healing and respect.

Phil  Nigro's picture
Phil Nigro
Submitted by Phil Nigro on
It's a start!!! Lets keep this going and show the world that we value and will protect and nurture these nations. We have great things we can learn from them. The time has come to realize the horrors we have brought against these beautiful ancient cultures and do what we can to bring them back to life and help them to flourish as the did 150-400 years ago

BRENDA PEAVY's picture
BRENDA PEAVY
Submitted by BRENDA PEAVY on
AS A BLACK CHEROKEE INDIAN I'M HAPPY TO SEE OBAMA ACKNOWLEDGE OUR PEOPLE. I JUST WISH THE MONTH COULD BE CELEBRATED BY ALL OF THE CITIZENS OF THE USA

Beverly Qureshi's picture
Beverly Qureshi
Submitted by Beverly Qureshi on
Why isn't the media paying more attention to the fact that November is Native American heritage month. And another thing what happened to Thanksgiving - you know where the Indians helped the Pilgrims through a very cold winter. Seems like they just zip right to Christmas before anyone even thinks about Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving should be given its day before talking about Christmas. Christ probabaly wasn't born on Decrember 25th anyway. He was born during the time when the Romans did the census in Palestine and that probably wasn't in December. St. Nicholas birthdate (the East Orthodox monk the Santa Claus myth is based on) was actually born on the 6th of December. Thanks.

SkyDiver's picture
SkyDiver
Submitted by SkyDiver on
But here is NO SUCH THING AS RACE! How can they be proud to be the 'Native race' ?? That is racist!! -Hypocrates...

Nena Phillips's picture
Nena Phillips
Submitted by Nena Phillips on
Thank you President Obama for your words of proclamation for the Native Americans living in the United States.
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