National Native American Heritage Month Proclamation

 

 Bigfoot Memorial Riders image by Sarah Penman –click on photo for more information.

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
October 29, 2010

Presidential Proclamation–National Native American Heritage Month

——-
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

For millennia before Europeans settled in North America, the indigenous peoples of this continent flourished with vibrant cultures and were the original stewards of the land. From generation to generation, they handed down invaluable cultural knowledge and rich traditions, which continue to thrive in Native American communities across our country today. During National Native American Heritage Month, we honor and celebrate their importance to our great Nation and our world.

America’s journey has been marked both by bright times of progress and dark moments of injustice for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Since the birth of America, they have contributed immeasurably to our country and our heritage, distinguishing themselves as scholars, artists, entrepreneurs, and leaders in all aspects of our society. Native Americans have also served in the United States Armed Forces with honor and distinction, defending the security of our Nation with their lives. Yet, our tribal communities face stark realities, including disproportionately high rates of poverty, unemployment, crime, and disease. These disparities are unacceptable, and we must acknowledge both our history and our current challenges if we are to ensure that all of our children have an equal opportunity to pursue the American dream. From upholding the tribal sovereignty recognized and reaffirmed in our Constitution and laws to strengthening our unique nation-to- nation relationship, my Administration stands firm in fulfilling our Nation’s commitments.

Over the past 2 years, we have made important steps towards working as partners with Native Americans to build sustainable and healthy native communities. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act continues to impact the lives of American Indians and Alaska Natives, including through important projects to improve, rebuild, and renovate schools so our children can get the education and skills they will need to compete in the global economy. At last year’s White House Tribal Nations Conference, I also announced a new consultation process to improve communication and coordination between the Federal Government and tribal governments.

This year, I was proud to sign the landmark Affordable Care Act, which permanently reauthorized the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, a cornerstone of health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives. This vital legislation will help modernize the Indian health care system and improve health care for 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives. To combat the high rates of crime and sexual violence in Native communities, I signed the Tribal Law and Order Act in July to bolster tribal law enforcement and enhance their abilities to prosecute and fight crime more effectively. And, recently, my Administration reached a settlement in a lawsuit brought by Native American farmers against the United States Department of Agriculture that underscores our commitment to treat all our citizens fairly.

As we celebrate the contributions and heritage of Native Americans during this month, we also recommit to supporting tribal self-determination, security, and prosperity for all Native Americans. While we cannot erase the scourges or broken promises of our past, we will move ahead together in writing a new, brighter chapter in our joint history.

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 2010 as National Native American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to commemorate this month with appropriate programs and activities, and to celebrate November 26, 2010, as Native American Heritage Day.

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

                 BARACK OBAMA

Elouise Cobell  vs the USA for years and years–and still no payment.

Ongoing Legacy of the Boarding Schools

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4 Comments

  1. slpmartin said,

    November 8, 2010 at 3:02 am

    Presidential Proclamations, treaties, promises…sorry none of these seem to have really changed anything substaintially….oh just a bitter random thought.

    • November 8, 2010 at 3:29 am

      Oh all those things ‘changed’ things for Native Americans, Charles. It just has yet to be positive change of any sort.
      Hi.

  2. clegyrboia said,

    November 8, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    One of the Aboriginal community leaders said “we can not live our tribal life anymore but we can live our culture, we will mix the new with the old, we can look after ourselves”.
    There are many good Aboriginal communities getting themselves on their feet, many still have a long way to go.
    Seeing that the Native Americans still have no land-rights (as i understand from the above) is sad give them back their land that is what they need. They can run their own communities with other Americans supporting them but NOT deciding for them.

    The president proclamation is a step in the right direction, now push him to give their land back, they live from the land they always have.

    On the 26th November i will do something to remember them and their fight, here in Wales.

    So glad i found your blog

    • November 8, 2010 at 9:42 pm

      Hello Magda. Thank you for your support and interest. Land issues with Native Americans are rather strange here in the states. For example, the USA has made an offer of payment for the sacred Black Hills. But the Lakota do not want the money –they want the Black Hills–so no one ‘touches’ the money–non acceptance of payment. Many Native People continue to live on reservations. Forced relocation resulted mainly in more depression, loss of community, suicide and drinking. The Boarding Schools destroyed the fabric of family life to the point of creating people who did not know how to parent their own children. The concept of ‘divide and conquer’ has had long standing consequences for many Native communities. Part of mixing the old with the new is learning how to deal with the ‘enemy’ of the dominant mainstream culture and values. That’s not easy.
      I think you ‘do something’ for all indigenous peoples in why you live and the way you connect with the Land as part of your life. You lead by example and doing every day as someone who honors Nature.

      I am very glad we have connected via our blogs–and the ‘artist at exit O’s riverblog. Peace


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