Native American Heritage Month
November is National Native American Heritage Month, an annual observance to recognize the accomplishments, contributions, and sacrifices of American Indians and Alaska Natives in North America.
President Obama issued a proclamation declaring the month-long observance and highlighting November 26, 2010, as Native American Heritage Day. "Since the birth of America, they [Native Americans] have contributed immeasurably to our country and our heritage, distinguishing themselves as scholars, artists, entrepreneurs, and leaders in all aspects of our society," said President Obama. "Yet, our tribal communities face stark realities, including disproportionately high rates of poverty, unemployment, crime, and disease."
President Obama noted the commitment of his Administration to helping tribal communities address these challenges while maintaining sovereignty. He emphasized the recent passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act, which will give more local control to tribal law enforcement agencies.
As part of the Administration’s efforts to promote tribal security and prosperity, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) launched the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS). CTAS seeks to foster local and nation-to-nation collaboration and coordination on public safety and justice planning. It also streamlined the application process for federal grants for public safety, allowing tribes to submit just one application for many different programs.
Under CTAS, DOJ awarded nearly $127 million to support public safety initiatives in Indian Country. Through targeted consultation sessions, DOJ continues to work with federal and tribal partners to improve and enhance CTAS for Fiscal Year 2011.