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Public Statements

Support the Native American Heritage Act of 2008

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

SUPPORT THE NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE ACT OF 2008 -- (House of Representatives - September 27, 2008)

(Mr. BACA asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)

Mr. BACA. Mr. Speaker, I support H. J. Res. 62, the Native American Heritage Day Act of 2008, which I authored. This bill will help pay tribute to Native Americans for their many contributions to the United States by encouraging all Americans to recognize the Friday after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day.

I thank Senator Daniel Inouye, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Chairman George Miller, Representative Dale Kildee, and the NIGA for their help on this bill.

I have been a strong advocate for Native Americans and have fought hard to preserve their heritage for the past 8 years that I have served in Congress and since my time in the California legislature.

It is important that we recognize the contributions of Native Americans in all aspects of our society, including government, language and history. We must not forget that Native Americans have fought with valor in every American war, dating back to the Revolutionary War.

My bill encourages public schools to teach Native American history and culture.

I also want to thank Tribal Chairman James Ramos of the San Manuel Tribe for helping us create this bill. This bill represents the first time in history that Congress is recognizing the great achievements of Native Americans in this manner.

I thank my colleagues for supporting this legislation.

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