"November was a good month for Native Americans. It was Native American Heritage Month, and Nov. 27 was Native American Heritage Day. And on Nov. 5, tribal leaders across the country had an opportunity to meet with President Obama during the Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, D.C.
The excitement began earlier this year when the U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation introduced by Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) on June 9 to designate the Friday after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day. The Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009 encourages the establishment of a day to pay tribute to Native Americans for their many contributions to the United States.
It was then moved to President Obama’s desk for his signature and on June 26, he signed Public Law 111-33, establishing the Friday after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day to honor and celebrate Native Americans.
All across the country, ceremonies and activities on Native American Heritage Day focused on the history, cultural legacy, language and traditions of Native Americans. Public elementary and secondary schools were also encouraged to enhance student understanding of Native Americans by providing classroom instruction focusing on their history, achievements and contributions."
Get the Story:
Vincent Armenta: Celebrating our native voice
(The Santa Ynez Valley News 12/9)