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Public Statements

Native American Heritage Day Act of 2007

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BACA. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Mr. Bishop for allowing me to bring up this legislation.

I rise today in support of establishing a tribute to Native Americans for their many contributions to the United States.

My bill, H.J. Res. 62, encourages all Americans to recognize the Friday after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day.

I want to thank Chairman George Miller, Ranking Member DON YOUNG, Representatives DALE KILDEE and RUBÉN HINOJOSA for their continued support for this bill.

Since my time in the California legislature, I've been a strong advocate to help preserve the legacy of Native Americans. It's important that we recognize their contributions to all aspects of our society, from our government to our language to history.

My bill encourages public elementary and secondary schools to enhance student understanding of Native Americans. We need more classroom instruction to focus on the history, culture and achievements and traditions of Native Americans.

Native Americans and their ancestors have played a critical role in the establishment of the freest country in the world. They have fought with valor and have died in every American war dating back to the Revolutionary War to the current wars. We in Congress must encourage greater awareness of the significant roles they have played in our national history.

I urge my colleagues to support this legislation, and I'm honored that Native Americans will be honored on this day.


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