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National American Indian Heritage Month

We often blog about various commemorative events, and I wanted to draw attention to November as National American Indian Heritage Month.  This began as a commemorative week in 1986 when Congress passed Pub.L. 99-471 designating November 23-30 as American Indian Week.  As directed by Congress in this law, President Reagan issued Presidential Proclamation 5577 in which he recognized that  ”Americans we know as American Indians and Native Americans were the first explorers and settlers of the areas that now make up the United States,” and the contributions made by the American Indians ”in every area of endeavor and American life, and our literature and all our arts draw upon Indian themes and wisdom.”  The President called upon all Americans to observe this week with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

For the next several years Congress passed laws designating a week in the fall as American Indian week – in 1988, the commemorative week was moved to September because the harvest season begins at the end of that month.  Then in 1990, Congress passed Pub.L. 101-343, which designated the entire month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month and recognized the American Indians as “the original inhabitants of the lands that now constitute the United States of America.”  Since 1990, Congress and President have continued to recognize November as National American Indian Heritage Month and to call upon the peoples of the United States to celebrate and honor the original inhabitants of our nation.

Pecos Pueblo Ruins – photo by Anne Wood Kelly

2 Comments

  1. John Flynn
    November 3, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    America as a nation will only find its own soul and identity when it gives attention to the vast resevoir of experience and continuity of a ancient ancestry spanning centuries bringing us closer to the origin of mankind and revealing a mystery both mystical and spiritual that man today is blind to.with the Indian as friend we should both look back so as to determine the America we want to build.under one frontier.the land of reservations must be no longer the home of the brave but a library for tomorrow where we share an uniting history.

  2. Shirley Blackburn
    November 9, 2012 at 10:16 am

    I wish to Honor November as the National American Indian Heritage Month…thank you.

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