Native American Education

Native Heritage Month and Day

The State of Washington Proclamation

Whereas, Native Americans have inhabited the area now known as Washington State since time immemorial, and today, 29 federally recognized Indian Tribes, out-of-state Tribes with treaty reserved rights, and other tribal communities reside in Washington; and

Whereas, members and descendants of tribes around the United States and First Nations of Canada also reside in the state of Washington; and

Whereas, Native American contributions and values have shaped the social, political, environmental, and economics fabric of the state, while also enhancing freedom, prosperity, and cultural diversity; and

Whereas, state law RCW 43.37, directs the Governor and state agencies to establish government-to-goverment relationships with Indian Tribes in order to enhance and formalize working relationships with the Tribes through collaboration and consultation; and

Whereas, state law, RCW 28A.320.170, mandates the teaching of tribal history, culture and government in common schools; which will contribute greatly to improving school’s history curriculum and enhance awareness for a better cultural understanding; and

Whereas, Substittue House Bill 1356, prohibiting the inappropriate use of Native American Names, symbols or images as public school mascots, logos, or team names, was signed into law on April 2, 2021, thus rmoving harmful stereotypes and barriers to racial equity, cultural awareness, and an equitable education; and

Whereas, the state of Washington has designated the Friday immediately following the fourth Thursday in November as a state legal and school holiday, known as Native American Heritage Day; and

Whereas, Washington joins other states across the nation in celebrating native American Heritage Month, honoring the unique heritage of this continent’s First People and reaffirming the commitment to respect each Tribe’s sovereignty and cultural identity;

Now, Therefore, I, Jay Inslee, Governor of the state of Washington, do hereby proclaim November 2021 as

Native American Heritage Month

and November 26, 2021 as

Native American Heritage Day

in Washington and encourage all people in our state to join me in this special observance.

Signed this 25th day of November, 2021

Governor Jay Inslee