Indianz.Com > News > Rep. Haaland statement on Native American Heritage Month
Rep. Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico) provides a Congressional response to the State of Indian Nations in Washington, D.C., on February 10, 2020. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
Haaland Urges Deep Reckoning, Understanding During Native American Heritage Month
Monday, November 2, 2020
Source: Rep. Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico)

Albuquerque, New Mexico – Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01) urges a deep reckoning and understanding during Native American Heritage Month. First observed in 1990, Native American Heritage Month is set aside to recognize Native American contributions to our country and celebrate Native American culture, languages, and traditions.

“The month of November is set aside to honor and celebrate the contributions of Native Americans to our country, but this year we’re urged to keep healthy by staying in our homes while Indian Country is being ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. During this Native American heritage month, we need to reflect on systemic racism and on the failures of the federal government to uphold its trust responsibility to Native Nations.

“Native Americans have overcome many hardships since the onset of colonization — genocide, forced relocation and assimilation — but we’re still here. Our cultures, languages, and traditions live on adding to the fabric of our country. As we celebrate the resilience of Native communities, we must work to ensure the federal government upholds tribal sovereignty and that we move toward a culture shift that learns from the dark pages of our history to build a more equitable and brighter future,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland, Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus.

Congresswoman Deb Haaland is committed to making issues facing Native Amreicans more visible on the national level. As COVID-19 disproportionately impacts Native American communities throughout the country, Rep. Deb Haaland, one of the first Native women elected to Congress, has called on the Dept. of Treasury to release all funding allocated for Tribal communities in the CARES Act. In Representative Haaland’s first two years in Congress, she led the passage and signing of two bills to address the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women into law, which includes her own Not Invisible Act.

Haaland also introduced the Native American Business Incubators Program Act, to break cycles of poverty in Indian Country, and the PROGRESS for Indian Tribes Act, to bolster tribal self-governance. Both bills were recently signed into law this year.

Last year, Haaland introduced a resolution recognizing the month of November as National Native American Heritage Month. The resolution recognized the contributions of Native Americans along with the need to strengthen the United States’ government-to-government relationship with Native Nations.

Congresswoman Deb Haaland is a 35th generation New Mexican who is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna, and also has Jemez Pueblo heritage. After running for New Mexico Lieutenant Governor in 2014, Haaland became the first Native American woman to be elected to lead a State Party. She used her experience reaching out to communities who are often forgotten during the electoral process during the two Obama presidential campaigns.