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November 2022: Native American Heritage Month

WHEREAS,the state of Michigan is home to more than 240,000 Native American or Alaska Native residents and twelve federally recognized Indian tribes. Each of these tribes is a sovereign government with an inherent right to self-governance and self-determination; these twelve federally recognized Tribes are Bay Mills Indian Community, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, Hannahville Indian Community, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, and Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians; and, 

WHEREAS, much of the land we now call Michigan was ceded between 1795 and 1842 by Tribes through treaties with the United States; and, 

WHEREAS, Michiganders have a responsibility to learn about the history of Tribal governments, the unique challenges Native people have faced historically and continue to face today, including the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People epidemic, and the abhorrent history and trauma that exists as the result of the Indian Boarding School system; and, 

WHEREAS, Michiganders are encouraged to celebrate and honor Native American history and culture; and,

WHEREAS, we celebrate the rich, diverse cultures, traditions, and histories of Native Americans, while acknowledging the significant contributions they make to government, education, economics, art, science, literature, and more in Michigan and the United States; and,

WHEREAS, we recognize and honor the achievements of Tribal governments and Native Americans and continue our efforts to ensure the State of Michigan recognizes and honors Tribal sovereignty and collaborates fully with Tribal governments; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan endeavors to be anti-racist and inclusive of citizens of all races and ethnicities;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim November 2022 as Native American Heritage Month in Michigan.