Government and Politics
November 28, 2022From: California Governor Gavin Newsom
During Native American Heritage Month, California honors and lifts up the enduring perseverance, diverse cultures and excellence of all the people who first called this state and nation home.
As we take this month to recognize the incredible tenacity of Native communities in the face of unimaginable odds throughout our history, we also reflect on the progress we have made together in the spirit of healing, growth and our shared future. Over the past four years, the leadership and advocacy of Native peoples working in partnership with the state have forged breakthroughs in addressing long-standing injustices and creating a California that embraces the stories, values and strengths of all people.
Recognizing the enduring trauma of the atrocities inflicted upon California Native peoples throughout our history, the state has taken meaningful action to tell the truth about our past and begin to heal deep wounds. We have taken the historic step of apologizing for this genocidal violence and mistreatment, established a Truth and Healing Council to continue the journey of reckoning with our past and worked with tribal nations to reassess systems and symbols of oppression and restore ancestral names and practices to important cultural sites throughout California.
Through policy, legislative and budget action, we have helped empower Native communities to lead culturally-informed systems of care, begun the long and difficult work to address the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples, and elevated the first-ever California Tribal Affairs Secretary to lead a newly-established Governor’s Office of Tribal Affairs. This month, we also celebrate a major step forward to restore the Klamath River – culminating more than a decade of work by the Yurok and Karuk Tribes, California, Oregon and other partners to revitalize this centerpiece of tribal community, culture and sustenance.
The unshakable strength and leadership of Native peoples lie at the heart of these milestones – a throughline that has sustained tribal communities amid the existential threats of the past and perseveres through the tragic loss of irreplaceable leaders, culture-bearers, elders and family members during the pandemic.
During Native American Heritage Month, let us honor the resilience of these remarkable Californians and take pride in the tremendous strides we have made to support truth, visibility and justice for Native peoples. Together, we’ll continue this work to build a more inclusive, equitable and just future for all.
NOW THEREFORE I, GAVIN NEWSOM, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim November 2022, as “Native American Heritage Month.”
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 28th day of November 2022.
Governor of California
SHIRLEY N. WEBER, Ph.D.
Secretary of State