Sinte Gleska University says
Native Americans stand among America's most distinguished authors, artists,
scientists, and political leaders, and in their accomplishments, they have
profoundly strengthened the legacy we will leave our children. So, too,
have American Indians and Alaska Natives bravely fought to protect this
legacy as members of our Armed Forces. As service members, they have shown
exceptional valor and heroism on battlefields from the American Revolution
to Iraq and Afghanistan. Native Americans have demonstrated time and again
their commitment to advancing our common goals, and we honor their resolve
in the face of years of marginalization and broken promises. My
Administration recognizes the painful chapters in our shared history, and
we are fully committed to moving forward with American Indians and Alaska
Natives to build a better future together.
To strengthen our economy and win the future for our children, my
Administration is addressing problems that have burdened Native American
communities for too long. We are working to bolster economic development,
expand access to affordable health care, broaden post-secondary educational
opportunities, and ensure public safety and tribal justice. In June, I
signed an Executive Order establishing the White House Rural Council, to
strengthen Federal engagement with tribal governments and promote economic
prosperity in Indian Country and across rural America. This comes in
conjunction with several settlements that will put more land into the hands
of tribes and deliver long-awaited trust reform to Indian Country.
To bring jobs and sustainable growth to tribal nations, my Administration
is connecting tribal economies to the broader economy through
transportation infrastructure and high-speed Internet, as well as by
focusing on clean energy development on tribal lands. First Lady Michelle
Obama's recently launched Let's Move! in Indian Country initiative will
also redouble efforts to encourage healthy living for American Indians and
Alaska Natives. These actions reflect my Administration's ongoing
commitment to progress for Native Americans, which was reaffirmed last year
when we announced our support for the United Nations Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Through a comprehensive strategy where the Federal Government and tribal
nations move forward as equal partners, we can bring real and lasting
change to Indian Country.
This month, we celebrate the rich heritage and myriad contributions of
American Indians and Alaska Natives, and we rededicate ourselves to
supporting tribal sovereignty, tribal self-determination, and prosperity
for all Native Americans. We will seek to strengthen our nation-to-nation
relationship by ensuring tribal nations have a voice in shaping national
policies impacting tribal communities. We will continue this dialogue at
the White House Tribal Nations Conference held in Washington, D.C. next
month. As we confront the challenges currently facing our tribal
communities and work to ensure American Indians and Alaska Natives have
meaningful opportunities to pursue their dreams, we are forging a brighter
future for the First Americans and all Americans.
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 2011 as National Native
American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to commemorate this
month with appropriate programs and activities, and to celebrate November
25, 2011, as Native American Heritage Day.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of November,
in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the
United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.