|RNCI FOUNDER’S MESSAGE THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN INDIAN HERITAGE MONTH
In 1914, Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Native Americans as the first Americans. In 1915, the American Indian Association call for the observance of and President Calvin Coolidge issued a proclamation for an American Indian Day.
In 1916, The first “American Indian Day” was declared by the State of New York.
In 1990, President George H. W. Bush Although the first “American Indian Day” was declared by the State of New York in 1916, a month long recognition of Native Americans was not achieved until 1990. President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” on August 3. His action was based on legislation presented by Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Congressional Delegate Eni Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa). In each of the four previous years, Congress had enacted legislation designating “American Indian Heritage Week.” This consecutive legislation allowed for the establishment of a month-long observance. Similar proclamations have been issued each year since 1994.
In 1996, President Clinton The purpose of National American Indian Heritage Month is to honor and recognize the original peoples of this land. The 1996 proclamation details their contributions to the past and to the future:
Throughout our history, American Indian and Alaska Native peoples have been an integral part of the American character. Against the odds, America’s first peoples have endured, and they remain a vital cultural, political, social, and moral presence. Tribal America has brought to this great country certain values and ideas that have become ingrained in the American spirit: the knowledge that humans can thrive and prosper without destroying the natural environment; the understanding that people from very different backgrounds, cultures, religions, and traditions can come together to build a great country; and the awareness that diversity can be a source of strength rather than division.
As we celebrate American Indian Heritage Month this year, we take note of the injustices that have been suffered by American Indian people. Even today, few enjoy the full bounty of America’s prosperity. But even as we look to the past, we must also look to the future. Along with other Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives will face new challenges in the coming century. We can ill afford to leave any of our people behind. Tribal America must figure as prominently in our future as it has in our past.
Let us rededicate ourselves to the principle that all Americans have the tools to make the most of their God-given potential. For Indian tribes and tribal members, this means that the authority of tribal governments must be accorded the respect and support to which they are entitled under the law. It means that American Indian children and youth must be provided a solid education and the opportunity to go on to college. It means that more must be done to stimulate tribal economies, create jobs, and increase economic opportunities.
Our bridge to the 21st century will rest upon the foundation we build today. We must teach our children about our past — both the good and the bad — so that they may learn from our successes and mistakes. We must provide our children with the knowledge and skills to permit them to surpass our own achievements and create a stronger, more united American community. We must provide them greater opportunity. It was the Iroquois who taught that in every deliberation we should consider the impact of our decisions on the next 7 generations.
In recognition of the important contributions of American Indian and Alaska Native peoples to our country and in light of the special legal relationship between the tribes and the Government of the United States, and obligations pursuant thereto, we celebrate National American Indian Heritage Month.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 1996 as National American Indian Heritage Month. I urge all Americans, as well as their elected representatives at the Federal, State, local, and tribal levels, to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-first.
RED NATION CELEBRATION INSTITUE INITIATIVE CITY TO CITY STATE TO STATE IN HONOR OF RED FOX JAMES
In 2000, Red Nation Celebration Institute and its founder Joanelle Romero, Apache/Cheyenne/Spanish-Jew, began a 5 year long initiative to have the City of Los Angeles recognize “American Indian Heritage Month” Los Angeles has largest American Indian Urban population in the country, is the Entertainment capital of the world, and is the second largest city in the United States.
In 2005, Red Nation Celebration Institute founded and launched American Indian Heritage Month in the City of Los Angeles. Then went on to ask Governor Schwarzenegger, Lt. Governor Bustamante and Mayor Villaraigosa and the City of Los Angeles to officially recognize American Indian Heritage Month and they accepted in 2006.
Joanelle Romero is a Mom, Humanitarian, Actor, award-winning Director/Producer, Media Proprietor, Recording Artist/Singer/Songwriter, Entrepreneur, member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the founder of Red Nation Celebration Institute and American Indian Heritage Month in the city of Los Angeles.
In 2006, Red Nation Celebration Institute was recognized by the State of California “for their tireless efforts to establish the First Annual American Indian Heritage Month in the City of Los Angeles.” Joanelle, who is of Cheyenne/Apache/Spanish Sephardic-Jew and was given her Indian name Oyate Wayanka Po Win – People See This Woman by Chief Leonard Crow Dog from Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.
Romero is founder of Red Nation Celebration Institute, the Authentic Voice of American Indian and Indigenous storytellers, our mission is in promoting, advancing, advocating and empowering independent film and filmmakers, media artists, Native Women in Film & Television and content creators in all media platforms. Established in 1995, Red Nation Celebration Institute (RNCI) is the longest standing American Indian & Indigenous multidisciplinary educational Arts & Culture non-profit corporation in Los Angeles.
On October 27, 2006, Local Tongva Spiritual Leader Jimi Castillo traditionally and officially recognized Joanelle Romero as “The First Lady of American Indian Heritage Month for all Red Nations,” in City Hall during the Mayor’s Reception for the inaugural celebration of American Indian Heritage Month in the City of Los Angeles 2006.
By 2007, when environmental consciousness came more clearly into the hearts and minds of Americans, Romero was already breaking new ground by dedicating the City’s second annual Heritage Month to “Honoring American Indians as our Nation’s First Environmentalists.” Each of the ten Red Nation Native cultural events and ceremonies held throughout Los Angeles annually in November evoked connection to Mother Earth and gives Angelinos a view into the sacred relationship our nation’s first peoples carry for the environment.
In 2008, Red Nation Celebration Institute partnered with Governor Bill Richardson and Department Indian Affairs in initiating the first American Indian Heritage Month in the State of New Mexico.
PRESIDENT SIGNS BACA BILL CREATING NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE DAY 2008
September 2008, Friday After Thanksgiving Will Now Be Designated as Day of Tribute
Washington, DC – Earlier this week President Bush signed into law legislation introduced by Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto), to designate the Friday after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day. The Native American Heritage Day Bill, H.J. Res. 62, is supported by the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) and 184 federally recognized tribes, and designates Friday, November 28, 2008, as a day to pay tribute to Native Americans for their many contributions to the United States.
“I am pleased the President took quick action on signing this legislation, which recognizes the importance of Native Americans to our history and culture,” said Rep.Baca. “It is critical we honor the contributions of Native Americans and ensure all Americans are properly educated on their heritage and many achievements.”
The Native American Heritage Day Bill encourages Americans of all backgrounds to observe Friday, November28, as Native American Heritage Day, through appropriate ceremonies and activities. It also encourages public elementary and secondary schools to enhance student understanding of Native Americans by providing classroom instruction focusing on their history, achievements, and contributions. As a state Assemblyman, Rep. Baca introduced the legislation that established the fourth Friday of September as Native American Day in California – which became state law in 1998.
H.J. Res. 62 was originally passed by the House of Representatives on November 13, 2007. The bill was passed with technical adjustments by unanimous consent in the U.S. Senate on September 22, 2008. Then, on September 26, 2008, the House of Representatives unanimously voted to pass the legislation again, this time including the adjustments from the Senate. The legislation was signed into public law by the President on October 8, 2008.
“This law will help to preserve the great history and legacy of Native Americans,” added Rep. Baca. “Native Americans and their ancestors have played a vital role in the formation of our nation. They have fought with valor and died in every American war dating back to the Revolutionary War, and deserve this special acknowledgement.”
“Since my time in the California State Legislature, I have fought to ensure Native Americans receive the recognition they deserve,” continued Rep. Baca. “After introducing the legislation that established Native American Day in California, I am proud to have introduced and passed the legislation that creates a national day of recognition. I thank my good friend James Ramos, now Chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, for standing with me from the beginning on this long journey to ensure the contributions of Native Americans are recognized and appreciated by all.”
OCTOBER 31, 2008
Governor Bill Richardson Proclaims November “American Indian Heritage Month”
SANTA FE – Governor Bill Richardson has signed a proclamation declaring the month of November “American Indian Heritage Month” throughout the State of New Mexico. The Proclamation honors the generations of American Indians who have so greatly enriched the culture and character of New Mexico.
“New Mexico owes so much of our storied history, rich diversity and cherished traditions to the state’s first citizens,” Governor Richardson said. “This month is an opportunity for us all to celebrate the accomplishments, ancestry and heritage of our 22 tribes, nations and pueblos.”
Text of the Proclamation follows:
WHEREAS, in 1990, President George H.W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 as “National American Indian Heritage Month”; and
WHEREAS, similar proclamations have been issued each year since 1994; and
WHEREAS, National American Indian Heritage Month is celebrated to recognize the intertribal cultures and to educate the public about the heritage, history, art and traditions of the American Indian people; and
WHEREAS, National American Indian Heritage Month is an opportunity to honor the many contributions of American Indians and to recognize the strong and living traditions of the first people to call our land home; and
WHEREAS, American Indians continue to shape our Nation by preserving the heritage of their ancestors and by contributing to the rich diversity that is our country’s strength. Their dedicated efforts to honor their proud heritage have helped others gain a deeper understanding of the vibrant and ancient customs of the Native American community; and
WHEREAS, the State of New Mexico benefits greatly from the 22 tribes, nations and pueblos that have been here since time immemorial and the more than 205,000 Native Americans that call New Mexico home; and
WHEREAS, for this reason, I was proud to sign a Statement of Policy and Process with the tribal leaders in 2003 that recognizes and respects the sovereignty of each tribe, commits my Administration to working with them on a government-to-government basis and underscores the importance of promoting equitable and efficient allocation of governmental authority, services and resources among all state citizens, including Native Americans; and
WHEREAS, it is important for every New Mexican to visit our tribal communities and learn more about the vibrant cultures, languages, and histories of the Native Americans in New Mexico as well as their ongoing efforts to further strengthen their tribal governments, economies and infrastructure.
NOW, THEREFORE I, Bill Richardson, Governor of the State of New Mexico, do hereby proclaim November 2008 as:
“American Indian Heritage Month”
throughout the State of New Mexico.
NOVEMBER 3, 2008
Ms. Joanelle Romero
On behalf of the State of New Mexico and the state Department of Indian Affairs, I would like to thank you and Red Nation for encouraging our state to officially recognize American Indian Heritage Month. As you know, we have many American Indians who have contributed immeasurably to the rich and diverse culture of our state. We have listened to their ideas as well as those of our Department of Indian Affairs and our Film Office to spearhead the following:
A gubernatorial proclamation officially commemorating the month of November as “American Indian Heritage Month” throughout the State of New Mexico;
A special reception for state government and tribal leaders across the State to take place in November at our Museum of Indian Arts & Culture in Santa Fe;
A weekend of free public screenings of prominent Native American films produced by American Indians around the nation, as well as short films produced by New Mexican Native American filmmakers on November 15th and 16th, 2008.
We intend to keep this recognition alive going forward with the support of organizations like Red Nation. We greatly appreciate your mission to take this message state to state throughout the country.
Red Nation Celebration has received the following endorsements, proclamations, resolutions and Certificates of Appreciation:
Letters of Endorsements:
· Mexican Consuldo Rubin Beltran 2006 – Council General of Mexico – September 19, 2006 – for initiating American Indian Heritage Month in the City of Los Angeles.
· Southern California Tribal Chairmen Association 2006 – Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association – August 9, 2006, initiating American Indian Heritage Month in the City of Los Angeles. S.C.T.C.A. represents 19 California Tribes. United Sioux Tribes of South Dakota
· 2006 – United Sioux Tribes – July 17, 2006, initiating American Indian Heritage Month in the City of Los Angeles. United Sioux Tribes represents 11 Lakota/Dakota tribes.
· Native Nations Sustainable Alliance 2006 – Native Nations Sustainable Alliance – July 17, 2006, initiating American Indian Heritage Month in the City of Los Angeles.
· Councilmember Jose Huziar 2007 – To celebrate American Indian Heritage Month.
· Chief Arvol Looking Horse 2006 – To celebrate American Indian Heritage Month.
· OCETI WAKAN 2006 – Oceti Wakan – April 25, 2005 – To celebrate American Indian Heritage Month.
· Peter Coyote – Wild Dog Productions, Inc. – Peter Coyote, President – October 20, 2006 – in support of founder Joanelle Romero efforts to launch American Indian Heritage Month in the city of Los Angeles.
· From California Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante Resolution for initiating American Indian Heritage Month in the City of Los Angeles – Red Nation Celebration” – November 2006.
· From Rick Auerbach, Assessor, Los Angles County, MAY 2003 – Native Women in music concert to sponsor the Red Nation celebration honoring a culture of traditional dance and music; Los Angeles County has the largest urban American Indian population in the United States and now hosts this non-profit dance and music festival and marketplace showcasing Native projects; Rick Auerbach, Assessor of the County of Los Angeles, on the 30th Day of May 2003, commends and congratulates Red Nation Celebration.
· Governor Bill Richardson and Department of Indian Affairs – in partnership with Red Nation Celebration; A gubernatorial proclamation officially commemorating the month of November as “American Indian Heritage Month” throughout the State of New Mexico.
· California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Proclamation for “Native American Heritage Month” – November 3, 2006.
· Local Tongva Spiritual Leader Jimi Castillo officially recognized Joanelle Romero as “the First Lady of American Indian Heritage Month for all Red Nations,” during the Mayor’s Reception for the first Heritage Month in 2006, because she had succeeded in unifying the interests of 19 tribes in the Los Angeles area.
· Mayor James Hahn 2005 – in launching the first American Indian Film Festival in Los Angeles – the Entertainment Capital of the world.
· Mayor James Hahn 2003 – Los Angeles City Mayor James Hahn Proclamation of “American Indian Music Month” – June 2003.
· Mayor Michael Bloomberg 2003 – City of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg Proclamation for the 8th Annual Red Nation Celebration Concert Series – February 20, 2003.
· Mayor James Hahn 2002 – City of Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn Proclamation of “Native Women in Music Day” – February 28, 2002.
· Mayor Richard Riordan 2001 – Los Angeles City Mayor Richard Riordan Proclamation of “American Indian Music Day” – February 18, 2001.
· Mayor Debbie Jaramillo 1996 – City of Santa Fe Mayor Debbie Jaramillo Proclamation of “Native American Women’s Day in Santa Fe” – August 17, 1996.
Joanelle Romero was further acknowledged by Ellen Snortland, former President of United Nations Association, Pasadena Chapter in the Pasadena Weekly, 2006: “American Indians have every right to despise white folks and curse us, rather than bless us. And yet, there are leaders like Romero who boggle the typical pedestrian mind. Like Nelson Mandela, she is a prime example of forgiveness in action. Mandela had every right to call for a bloodbath when he was finally released from prison in South Africa. Mandela-like, Romero stands on his mighty global shoulders and calls for oneness, love and what she describes as female energy.” –partial quote.
Certificates of Appreciation:
· Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION / NOV 15, 2006 – sincere appreciation to you for your vision and support in making American Indian Heritage Month a reality. We recognize your leadership and extraordinary work in promoting and preserving American Indian Culture in the arts and community; and for your outstanding continuous support of justice not just in the American Indian community but for all Angelinos and women everywhere. Congratulations on your accomplishments and achievements throughout the years.
· Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION / NOV 15, 2006 recognize your various community events and activities during American Indian Heritage Month throughout the City of Los Angeles. We especially applaud the 3rd Annual Red Nation Film Festival for being at the forefront and showcasing American Indian stories of truth.
· Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, CONGRATULATIONS / NOVEMBER 16, 2005 – 10 year Red Nation Celebration. We recognize your dedication by sharing diversity, contemporary arts, cultural education and traditional American Indian Entertainment.
· Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, CONGRATULATIONS / NOVEMBER 16, 2005 – City of Los Angeles State of California Congratulations to Spirit World Productions.
· In addition, our Annual Red Nation Celebration Concert Series and organization has been acclaimed with numerous articles in such national media as; Billboard Magazine-feature story-Native Special issues, LA Times- Cover Story, Hollywood Reporter, Daily Variety, Native Peoples, LA Weekly, Indian Country Today, American Indian Report, Texaco Magazine, Daily News, NBC, Canadian Press.