2017 American Indian Month


WHEREAS, American Indian Day began in Virginia in 1987; recognition was expanded by the General Assembly to a week in 1988; and in 1996, the General Assembly expanded recognition to American Indian Month and Day of Appreciation the Wednesday immediately preceding Thanksgiving of each year; and 

WHEREAS, the American Indian community in Virginia plays an essential role in shaping and advancing the Commonwealth; and 

WHEREAS, American Indian men and women contribute to all areas of life in Virginia, including government, business, arts and sciences, medicine, law enforcement, and the military; and 

WHEREAS, eleven state-recognized Indian tribes contribute to and strengthen Virginia’s unique cultural tapestry: the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe, Chickahominy Indian Tribe, Chickahominy Indians Eastern Division, Mattaponi Indian Tribe, Monacan Indian Nation, Nansemond Indian Tribe, Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia, Pamunkey Indian Tribe, Patawomeck Indian Tribe of Virginia, Rappahannock Tribe, and the Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe; and 

WHEREAS, Virginia is home to one federally recognized Indian tribe: the Pamunkey Indian Tribe; and

WHEREAS, on November 22, 2017, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, and the Mattaponi Indian Tribe will commemorate the 340th anniversary of the Treaty of Middle Plantation, which established the first reservations in the United States; and

WHEREAS, American Indian Month is an opportunity to celebrate the thousands of American Indians in Virginia whose abilities and contributions strengthen Virginia’s economy, enrich Virginia’s diverse culture, and invigorate Virginia’s communities;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize November 2017 as AMERICAN INDIAN MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.