[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 124, 111th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

 
PROCLAMATION 8595--OCT. 29, 2010

Proclamation 8595 of October 29, 2010
National Native American Heritage Month, 2010
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,

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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

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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