Through Indigenous News Online Staff
President Joe Biden already has the first-ever Native American presidential cabinet secretary in his administration along with Deb Haaland, a tribal citizen of Laguna Pueblo, who serves as Home Secretary. On Friday, he made another first by issuing the proclamation of Indigenous Peoples Day.
No other President of the United States has issued a proclamation of Indigenous Peoples Day.
A proclamation on Indigenous Peoples Day, 2021
From time immemorial, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Hawaiians have built vibrant and diverse cultures – protecting the land, language, spirit, knowledge, and traditions across generations. On Indigenous Peoples Day, our nation celebrates the invaluable contributions and resilience of Indigenous peoples, recognizes their inherent sovereignty, and commits to honoring the federal government’s trust and obligations to tribal nations.
Our country was designed on a promise of equality and opportunity for all – a promise that, despite the extraordinary progress we have made over the years, we have never fully delivered. This is especially true when it comes to defending the rights and dignity of the indigenous peoples who were here long before the colonization of the Americas began. For generations, federal policies have systematically sought to assimilate and displace Indigenous peoples and eradicate Indigenous cultures. Today, we recognize the resilience and strength of Indigenous peoples and the immeasurable positive impact they have had on all aspects of American society. We also re-commit to supporting a new, brighter future of promise and equity for tribal nations – a future based on tribal sovereignty and respect for the human rights of indigenous peoples in the Americas and around the world.
During the first week of my administration, I issued a memorandum reaffirming our nation’s solemn trust and treaty obligations to the tribal nations of the American Indians and Alaska and asked the heads of the departments executives and agencies to engage in regular, meaningful and robust consultations with tribal leaders. . It is a priority of my administration to make respect for the sovereignty and autonomy of the tribes the cornerstone of federal Indian policy. History demonstrates that Native Americans – and our nation as a whole – are best served when tribal governments are empowered to lead their communities, and when federal officials listen to and collaborate with tribal chiefs when formulating federal policy that affects tribal nations.
The contributions that Indigenous peoples have made throughout history – in public service, entrepreneurship, scholarship, the arts and countless other fields – are integral to our nation, culture and society. . Indigenous peoples have served and continue to serve in the United States armed forces with distinction and honor – at one of the highest rates of any group – defending our security every day. And Native Americans have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, doing essential jobs and bringing us through our most serious times. Further, recognizing that the pandemic has harmed Indigenous peoples at an alarming and disproportionate rate, Indigenous communities have led the way in connecting people to immunization, posting some of the highest rates of any racial or ethnic group.
The federal government has a solemn obligation to support and invest in the future of Indigenous peoples and to empower tribal nations to govern their own communities and make their own decisions. We must never forget the age-old campaign of violence, displacement, assimilation and terror against indigenous communities and tribal nations across our country. Today, we recognize the significant sacrifices made by Indigenous peoples to this country – and recognize their many continuing contributions to our nation.
On Indigenous Peoples Day, we honor the original inhabitants of the United States and the tribal nations that continue to thrive today. I encourage everyone to celebrate and recognize the many Indigenous communities and cultures that make up our great country.
THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, hereby proclaim October 11, 2021, Indigenous Peoples Day. I call on the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I also direct that the flag of the United States be displayed on all public buildings on the designated day in honor of our diverse history and the Indigenous peoples who help shape this nation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have appended my signature this eighth day of October, in the year of grace two thousand and twenty-one, and of independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and forty-six.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.
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