For Immediate Release
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 cele-brate Thanks-giving, we especially celebrate their heritage
and the contributions of American Indian and Alaska Native peoples to
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
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.
patriotism again appeared after the September 11 attacks, as American
Indian law enforcement officers volun--teered 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 all.
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
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.
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.
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