American Indian Heritage Month Proclamation
By the President of the United States of America
The strength of our Nation comes from its people.
As the early inhabitants of this great land, the native peoples
of North America played a unique role in the shaping of our
Nation's history and culture. During this month when we celebrate
Thanksgiving, we especially celebrate their heritage and the
contributions of American Indian and Alaska Native peoples
to this Nation.
Since our Nation's birth, pluralism and diversity have been
hallmarks of the American experience and success. In 1782,
the Founding Fathers chose as our national motto "E Pluribus
Unum," which means "out of many, one." Today,
America's unity, derived from a mix of many diverse cultures
and people, grandly embodies the vision expressed by our Founders.
American Indian and Alaska Native cultures have made remarkable
contributions to our national identity. Their unique spiritual,
artistic, and literary contributions, together with their
vibrant customs and celebrations, enliven and enrich our land.
As we move into the 21st century, American Indians and Alaska
Natives will play a vital role in maintaining our Nation's
strength and prosperity. Almost half of America's Native American
tribal leaders have served in the United States Armed Forces,
following in the footsteps of their forebears who distinguished
themselves during the World Wars and the conflicts in Korea,
Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf.
Their patriotism again appeared after the September 11 attacks,
as American Indian law enforcement officers volunteered to
serve in air marshal programs. On the local level, American
Indians and Alaska Natives are strengthening their communities
through education and business development, opening the doors
to opportunity, and contributing to a brighter future for
My Administration will continue to work with tribal governments
on a sovereign to sovereign basis to provide Native Americans
with new economic and educational opportunities. Indian education
programs will remain a priority, so that no American child,
including no Native American child, is left behind. We will
protect and honor tribal sovereignty and help to stimulate
economic development in reservation communities. We will work
with the American Indians and Alaska Natives to preserve their
freedoms, as they practice their religion and culture.
During National American Indian Heritage Month, I call on
all Americans to learn more about the history and heritage
of the Native peoples of this great land. Such actions reaffirm
our appreciation and respect for their traditions and way
of life and can help to preserve an important part of our
culture for generations yet to come.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United
States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me
by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby
proclaim November 2001 as National American Indian Heritage
Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe
this month with appropriate programs and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth
day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand one,
and of the Independence of the United States of America the
two hundred and twenty-sixth.
GEORGE W. BUSH .