WASHINGTON DC –
Chairman Byron Dorgan today introduced a resolution in the Senate recognizing November 2008 as National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.
November has been recognized as National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month since 1990. During this month, the President and Congress take time to recognize the significant contributions of tribal governments and individual Native Americans to our nation’s history and development.
“This Resolution recognizes some of the many contributions that Native Americans have made to help build our great nation as well as the continued contributions of Native Americans to the growth of the United States,” said Dorgan, who serves as Chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee. “From contributions to the United States and the world in the fields of agriculture, medicine, music, language, and art, to influencing the founding documents of our federal government, to the use of Native languages to develop an unbreakable military code that helped defeat the Axis powers in World War II, Indian Tribes and individual Native Americans have shaped our nation’s history in remarkable ways.”
Dorgan also highlighted the passage of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act of 2008 through the Senate, the enactment of the Native American Housing and Self-Determination Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2008, and the $1 billion secured for Indian Health care as successes of the 110th Congress while also stating that there was much work to be done. He said that Indian health care would continue to be a priority, and that he would work to get the Indian Health Care Improvement Act through both houses in the 111th Congress.
While restating a commitment to uphold the responsibility that Congress owes to all Indian Tribes, Dorgan also urged all citizens to recognize the contributions of the first Americans.
“I urge all citizens, and local, state, tribal and federal governments and agencies to take time this month to learn more about the many facets of Native American history, traditions, and their important contributions to the formation of the United States.”