- By Native News Online Staff
The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on Friday announced the passage of a Senate resolution recognizing November 2023 as National Native American Heritage Month.
“In November we celebrate Native American Heritage Month to recognize American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian peoples and their diverse cultures, achievements, and contributions to the United States,” Chairman Brian Schatz (D-HI) said. “I am honored to lead this year’s Senate resolution with Vice Chairman Murkowski and remain committed to upholding the federal trust responsibility and strengthening self-determination for Native communities across the country.”
“This November we continue to honor and recognize the many contributions that Native people have made to the United States through the passage of this bipartisan Senate Resolution, which recognizes our commitment and responsibility to all American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian people. I am honored to co-lead this resolution with Chairman Schatz and thank all of my colleagues who joined in support,” Vice Chair Lias Murkowski (R-AK).
Senators Baldwin (D-Wis.), Bennet (D-Colo.), Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cantwell (D-Wash.), Collins (R-Maine), Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Cramer (R-N.D.), Crapo (R-Idaho), Daines (R-Mont.), Duckworth (D-Ill.), Durbin (D-Ill.), Fetterman (D-Pa.), Fischer (R-Neb.), Heinrich (D-N.M), Hickenlooper (D-Colo,), Hirono (D- Hawai‘i), Hoeven (R-N.D.), Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Kaine (D-Va.), King (I-Maine), Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Lankford (R-Okla.), Luján (D-N.M.), Lummis (R-Wyo.), Marshall (R-Kan.), Menendez (D-N.J.), Merkley (D-Ore.), Moran (R-Kan.), Mullin (R-Okla.), Murray (D-Wash.), Padilla (D-Calif.), Risch (R-Idaho), Rosen (D-Nev.), Rounds (R-S.D.), Schumer (D-N.Y.), Shaheen (D-N.H.), Sinema (I-Ariz.), Sullivan (R-Alaska), Tester (D-Mont.), Warren (D-Mass.), Wicker (R-Miss.), and Wyden (D-Ore.) joined the resolution as original co-sponsors.
Recognizing National Native American Heritage Month and celebrating the heritages and cultures of Native Americans and the contributions of Native Americans to the United States.
Whereas, from November 1, 2023, through November 30, 2023, the United States celebrates National Native American Heritage Month;
Whereas National Native American Heritage Month is an opportunity to consider and recognize the contributions of Native Americans to the history of the United States;
Whereas Native Americans are descendants of the original, Indigenous inhabitants of what is now the United States;
(1) in 2020, there were 9,666,058 individuals of American Indian and Alaska Native descent in the United States; and
Whereas Native Americans maintain vibrant cultures and traditions and hold a deeply rooted sense of community;
Whereas Native Americans have moving stories of tragedy, triumph, and perseverance that need to be shared with future generations;
Whereas Native Americans speak and write in their Indigenous languages, which have influenced and contributed in a variety of ways to the United States, including the naming of places and sites throughout the United States;
Whereas Congress has consistently reaffirmed support for self-governance and self-determination policies for Native American communities and the commitment of the United States to improving the lives of all Native Americans;
(1) strengthening the government-to-government relationship with Indian Tribes; and
Whereas Congress has recognized the contributions of the Iroquois Confederacy and the influence of the Iroquois Confederacy on the Founding Fathers in the drafting of the Constitution of the United States with the concepts of—
(1) freedom of speech;
Whereas, with the enactment of the Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009 (Public Law 111–33; 123 Stat. 1922), Congress—
(1) reaffirmed the government-to-government relationship between the United States and Native American governments; and
Whereas Native Americans have made distinct and important contributions to the United States and the world in many fields, including agriculture, environmental stewardship, wayfinding, medicine, music, dance, language, and art;
Whereas contemporary applications of traditional knowledge systems of Native Americans have expanded scientific, environmental, and intercultural understanding;
Whereas Native Americans have distinguished themselves as inventors, entrepreneurs, spiritual leaders, and scholars;
Whereas Native Americans have served with honor and distinction in the Armed Forces of the United States for centuries and have the highest per capita involvement of any population currently serving in the Armed Forces of the United States;
Whereas the United States has recognized the contribution of the Native American code talkers in World War I and World War II, who used Indigenous languages to communicate an unbreakable military code, saving countless lives in both conflicts; and
Whereas the people of the United States have reason to honor the great achievements and contributions of Native Americans and their ancestors: Now, therefore, be it
(1) recognizes the month of November 2023 as “National Native American Heritage Month”;
(2) recognizes the Friday after Thanksgiving as “Native American Heritage Day” in accordance with section 2(10) of the Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009 (Public Law 111–33; 123 Stat. 1923); and
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