Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) this week led introduction of a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives to recognize November as National Native American Heritage Month, honoring tribal nations throughout history. Following introduction, the congressional delegation of Native Americans joined in issuing statements in support of the resolution.
“Each year during the month of November, I am proud that we pause to reflect on the unique heritage, rich history and special contributions of Native Americans,” said Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04), co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus and a member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. “Indeed, the enduring legacy of tribal nations and their members extends far beyond the birth of the United States, and that is a legacy that must be protected. I am pleased to join with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to introduce a resolution that not only celebrates an incredible heritage but affirms policies that respect the constitutional rights of tribes and preserve the promises made by the federal government.”
“Native American Heritage month is all about recognizing the contributions that American Indians, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiians have made to this country while reflecting upon the systemic racism and failures of the federal government to uphold promises to Native Nations. We must work to ensure the federal government upholds its trust obligation and promote tribal sovereignty so that we move toward a culture shift. We must learn from the dark pages of our history to build a more equitable and brighter future. By giving an elevated voice to Native Americans, we’re also drawing attention to the challenges that our Tribal communities still face,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01), co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus and a member of the Pueblo of Laguna. “This year’s Native American heritage month comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately impacting Native Americans and indigenous communities across the country, and the call for action has never been greater.”
“This month gives all Americans the opportunity to celebrate the legacy of the first people who called this land home. Our history and sovereignty are what bind us together,” said Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02), a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. “I am proud to embrace my Cherokee heritage and I believe that our heritage and traditions should be celebrated not only this month, but year round. I am proud to cosponsor this resolution that recognizes the contributions of Native Americans along with the need to strengthen the United States’ government-to-government relationship with Native Nations.”
“Native American Heritage Month is a time to acknowledge and pay tribute to the unique heritages, cultures and contributions of Indigenous people in our country,” said Congresswoman Sharice Davids (KS-03), a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. “I’m proud of my Native heritage, and I’m proud to serve as one of the first Native women ever elected to Congress. The need to acknowledge the contributions and needs of Native Americans in this country is always important, but it is especially so during a pandemic that has disproportionately impacted and harmed Native communities.”
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