NATIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH, 2015
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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
American Indians and Alaska Natives enrich every aspect of our country. As the
first to live on this land, Native Americans and their traditions and values
inspired -- and continue to inspire -- the ideals of self-governance and
determination that are the framework of our Nation. This month, we recognize the
contributions made by Native Americans since long before our founding, and we
resolve to continue the work of strengthening government-to-government ties with
tribal nations and expanding possibility for all.
Native Americans have helped make America what it is today. As we reflect on our
history, we must acknowledge the unfortunate chapters of violence,
discrimination, and deprivation that went on for far too long, as well as the
effects of injustices that continue to be felt. While we cannot undo the pain
and tragedy of the past, we can set out together to forge a brighter future of
progress and hope across Indian Country and the entire American landscape.
Since I took office, I have worked with tribal leaders to write a new chapter in
our nation-to-nation relationship. Ensuring young people have every opportunity
to succeed is a critical aspect of our work together, and this year my
Administration hosted the inaugural White House Tribal Youth Gathering following
the launch of Generation Indigenous -- an initiative aimed at improving the
lives of Native youth and empowering the next generation of Native leaders. We
will also host the seventh White House Tribal Nations Conference later this
year, bringing together leaders of 567 tribes to explore opportunities for
progress, with a particular focus on young people. As part of our agenda for
providing Native youth the chance to realize their fullest potential, I have
engaged tribal communities in a range of critical areas, and we have worked
together to boost high school graduation rates and afford young people more
chances to pursue higher education, employment, and professional development
opportunities. We're also working to expand access to health and counseling
services essential to ensuring youth feel safe and heard.
My Administration has continued to partner with tribes to address vital gaps in
resources for Indian Country, including equipping communities with broadband,
rebuilding infrastructure, spurring economic growth, and increasing renewable
energy. To confront the peril of a changing climate, we are also working with
tribal leaders across America to develop effective approaches to protecting our
communities from this grave threat. And because we know that fostering pride in
the languages, traditions, and practices that make up the extraordinary richness
of Native American culture is central to our shared progress, my Administration
remains committed to ensuring every community feels connected to the
extraordinary legacies they are a part of.
This month, let us reaffirm our responsibility to ensure each generation is
defined by a greater sense of opportunity than the last, and let us pledge to
maintain our strong relationship with tribal nations across America. By keeping
this commitment, and by endeavoring to shape a future in which every citizen has
the chance to build a life worthy of their hopes and dreams, we can ensure that
ours is a country that is true to our spirit and to our enduring promise as a
land where all things are possible for all people.
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 2015 as National Native American
Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to commemorate this month with
appropriate programs and activities, and to celebrate November 27, 2015, as
Native American Heritage Day.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of October,
in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the
United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.