RNCI FOUNDER’S MESSAGE THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN INDIAN HERITAGE MONTH
In photo Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Joanelle Romero founder Red Nation Celebration Institute & American Indian Heritage Month, Montano Rain Red Nation Celebration Institute Board member, Lt. Bustamante State of California.
Red Nation Celebration Institute created and founded the American Indian Heritage Month in the City/County of Los Angeles in 2005 and officially recognized in 2006 by the State of California and the City of Los Angeles and in the State of New Mexico 2008.
Red Nation Celebration Institute (RNCI) is a pioneer organization and is the longest standing Native Arts & Cultural tax exempt 501c3 nonprofit organization in Los Angeles, est. 1995. RNCI is the first Native Arts & Cultural nonprofit organization to be funded by The City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department in 2000.
RNCI program, Red Nation Film Festival & Awards established in 2003, is the first Native Film Festival in Los Angeles and is held and is part of American Indian Heritage Month in the City of Los Angeles. Before 2003, there was no venue for Native cinema in the Entertainment Capital of the World – Hollywood. Red Nation Celebration Institute forever changed that making history!
NOTE: 2006 City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Reception was produced by Red Nation Celebration Institute. Local Tongva Spiritual Leader Jimi Castillo officially recognized Joanelle Romero as “the First Lady of American Indian Heritage Month” for all Red Nations, due to her vision in founding and estabishing the American Indian Heritage Month in the City of Los Angeles in 2006, in addition because she had succeeded in unifying the interests of 19 tribes in the Los Angeles area.
AMERICAN INDIAN HERITAGE MONTH City/County of Los Angeles & State of California
STATE OF CALIFORNIA Resolution 2006
October 27, 2006
AMERICAN INDIAN HERIAGE MONTH
~RED NATION CELEBRATION ~
WHEREAS, I am pleased to recognize those at Red Nation Celebration for their tireless efforts to establish the First Annual American Indian Heritage Month in the City of Los Angeles; and I applaud the City of Los Angeles for dedicating the month of November to raising awareness about the unique and diverse cultures of the American Indian community and their many contributions to the State of California; and
CITY OF LOS ANGELES Certificate of Appreciation 2006, is presented to Joanelle Romero
November 15, 2006
AS MAYOR OF THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES AND ON BEHALF OF ITS RESIDENTS, I AM HONORED TO EXTEND MY 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 ANGELENOS AND WOMEN EVERYWHERE.
Acknowledgment Letter from Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles 2006
September 19, 2006
Dear Ms. Romero
I would like to express my sincere congratulations for partnering with the City of Los Angeles to initiate the First Native American Indigenous Heritage Month in one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world.
The Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles recognizes the importance of developing activities through which we can have a better understanding of other cultures, praise our similarities and celebrate our traditions and values. Mexico has a historic and cultural background that reflects our indigenous roots and the importance of promoting diversity and tolerance.
Acknowledgment Letter from Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa 2005
NOVEMBER 12, 2005
On behalf of the City of Los Angeles, it is my pleasure to welcome and congratulate the Red Nation celebration and its supporters as we introduce the Indigenous Nations Heritage Month, a long overdue tribute to the organ people pf this land; initiated by Red Nation Founder, Joanelle Romero.
AMERICAN INDIAN HERITAGE MONTH State of New Mexico 2008
>>> Red Nation Celebration Institute is Celebrating is 24th Anniversary 2019 <<<
RNCI has received 23 years of Awards, Resolutions, Proclamations, Certificates of Appreciation, Letters of Support, from the City of Los Angeles, State of California, State of New Mexico, Indian Affairs, Native Businesses, Native communities, Spiritual Leaders, Chairwomen/men of different Sovereign Nations, and Congresswomen of the United States in recognizing RNCI as a pioneer Native organization in ground-breaking programs and initiatives.
TO LEARN MORE VISIT
RNCI Red Nation International Film Festival The Authentic Voice of American Indian & Indigenous Cinema
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U.S. 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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
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
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
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
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
“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
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”;
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;
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
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
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
American Indian Heritage Month in The City of Los Angeles™
RED NATION CELEBRATION™
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
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
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
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.
Governor of New Mexico
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
· Chief Arvol Looking Horse 2006 – To celebrate American Indian Heritage
· 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.
Proclamations received from:
· 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,
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
· Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, CONGRATULATIONS / NOVEMBER 16, 2005 –
City of Los Angeles State of California Congratulations to Spirit World
· 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.