Senate Committee Approves Baca Bill Celebrating Native Americans
The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs approved legislation introduced by Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) to encourage the establishment of a day of tribute to Native Americans for their many contributions to the United States. The Native American Heritage Day Bill (H.J. Res. 62) would designate the Friday after this Thanksgiving, November 28, 2008, as Native American Heritage Day. The bill now awaits final passage by the Senate.
"Native Americans have enriched American culture with their proud history," said Rep. Baca. "I am pleased the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs took action on this measure. It is vitally important that the American people are made aware of the many achievements and proud heritage of Native Americans."
The Native American Heritage Day Bill encourages Americans of all backgrounds to observe the Friday after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day, through appropriate ceremonies and activities. The House unanimously passed H.J. Res. 62 in November of 2007.
"Native Americans and their ancestors have played a critical role in the formation of our great nation," added Rep. Baca. "For years I have fought to ensure they receive the recognition they deserve, and today, I am proud the Senate Committee has approved this long overdue bill."
"I urge the Senate to take quick action on bringing this legislation up for final passage," concluded Rep. Baca. "We must do all we can to recognize our Native Americans, and help to preserve their significant history and legacy."
The Native American Heritage Day Bill is currently supported by 184 federally recognized Indian tribes throughout the nation. Congressman Baca has been an active member of the Native American Caucus in the House of Representatives since first coming to Congress in 1999.