OBSERVANCE OF AMERICAN INDIAN AND ALASKA NATIVE HERITAGE MONTH 2011

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ATTENTION INVITED TO  

ROUTINE

R 281339Z OCT 11 PSN 287055H27

FM CNO WASHINGTON DC

TO NAVADMIN
ZEN//OU=DOD/OU=NAVY/OU=ADDRESS LISTS(UC)/CN=AL NAVADMIN(UC)

INFO ZEN/CNO WASHINGTON DC

BT
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SUBJ: OBSERVANCE OF AMERICAN INDIAN AND ALASKA NATIVE HERITAGE UNCLASSIFIED// 
FM CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1// TO NAVADMIN INFO CNO WASHINGTON DC//N1// 
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NAVADMIN 323/11

MSGID/GENADMIN/CNO WASHINGTON DC/N1/OCT//

SUBJ/OBSERVANCE OF AMERICAN INDIAN AND ALASKA NATIVE HERITAGE MONTH 2011//



RMKS/1.  AMERICAN INDIAN AND ALASKA NATIVE HERITAGE MONTH WILL BE OBSERVED 
DURING THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER.  THIS MONTH COMMEMORATES THE SIGNIFICANT 
CONTRIBUTIONS THE FIRST AMERICANS MADE TO THE ESTABLISHMENT AND GROWTH OF THE 
UNITED STATES.

2.  EFFORTS TO ESTABLISH AMERICAN INDIAN AND ALASKA NATIVE HERITAGE MONTH 
ORIGINATED IN THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY.  IN 1915, ARTHUR C.
PARKER, A SENECA INDIAN, ENCOURAGED THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA TO OBSERVE 
"FIRST AMERICANS" DAY.  A YEAR LATER, THE STATE OF NEW YORK DESIGNATED THE 
SECOND SATURDAY IN MAY AS AMERICAN INDIAN DAY.  IN 1990, PRESIDENT GEORGE W. 
BUSH ESTABLISHED A NATIONAL COMMEMORATION TO ENCOMPASS THE ENTIRE MONTH OF 
NOVEMBER.  TODAY, AMERICAN INDIAN AND ALASKA NATIVE HERITAGE MONTH CELEBRATES 
THE CULTURES, HISTORIES, AND TRADITIONS OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF NORTH 
AMERICA, INCLUDING PARTS OF ALASKA AND THE ISLAND STATE OF HAWAII.

3.  ACCORDING TO THE U.S. CENSUS BUREAU, NEARLY 4.5 MILLION AMERICAN INDIANS 
AND ALASKA NATIVES COMPRISE 1.5 PERCENT OF OUR NATION'S POPULATION.  THESE 
INDIVIDUALS ARE FROM MANY DISTINCT TRIBES, STATES, AND ETHNIC GROUPS, AND ALL 
CONTRIBUTE TO OUR NATIONAL IDENTITY.  OUR NAVY REFLECTS THIS DIVERSITY; TODAY 
MORE THAN 16,000 ACTIVE-DUTY AND RESERVE SAILORS AND 1,280 CIVILIANS OF NATIVE 
AMERICAN AND ALASKA NATIVE HERITAGE SERVE IN THE NAVY.  IN EVERY FACET OF 
NAVAL OPERATIONS, THESE TALENTED MEMBERS WORK, SERVE, AND SACRIFICE FOR THEIR 
NATION, AND THEIR UNIQUE PERSPECTIVES AND EXPERIENCES ENHANCE OUR CULTURE AND 
CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS MISSION READINESS.

4.  SINCE 1776, WHEN GEORGE WASHINGTON BEGAN ENLISTING THEM FOR HIS FLEDGLING 
ARMY, NAVY AND MARINES, AMERICAN INDIANS HAVE CONTRIBUTED THEIR FIGHTING 
SPIRIT AND WARRIOR ETHOS TO HELP U.S. MILITARY FORCES DEFEND AMERICA'S 
NATIONAL INTERESTS.  BOTH PAST AND PRESENT, THESE MEMBERS HAVE MADE REMARKABLE 
CONTRIBUTIONS TO OUR NAVY'S LEGACY.
NATIVE AMERICAN SEAMEN SERVED ON CONTINENTAL AND STATE VESSELS DURING THE WAR 
OF INDEPENDENCE.  MANY NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES SERVED WITH U.S. TROOPS IN THE 
WAR OF 1812, AND DURING THE CIVIL WAR, AS MANY AS 20,000 NATIVE AMERICANS 
CONTRIBUTED TO BOTH UNION AND CONFEDERATE FORCES AS AUXILIARY TROOPS.  DESPITE 
BEING INELIGIBLE FOR THE DRAFT IN 1917, UP TO 15,000 AMERICAN INDIANS ENLISTED 
DURING WORLD WAR I, AN ACT THAT PAVED THE WAY TO THE INDIAN CITIZENSHIP ACT OF 
1924, WHICH GRANTED FULL CITIZENSHIP AND THE RIGHT TO VOTE TO ALL AMERICAN 
INDIANS.  MORE THAN 44,000 AMERICAN INDIANS, COMPRISING NEARLY 13 PERCENT OF 
THE NATIVE AMERICAN POPULATION AT THE TIME, FOUGHT IN BOTH THE EUROPEAN AND 
PACIFIC THEATERS OF WORLD WAR II, INCLUDING 1,910 SAILORS, 874 MARINES, AND 
SEVERAL DOZEN WOMEN ACCEPTED FOR VOLUNTEER EMERGENCY SERVICE (WAVES).  BETWEEN 
10,000 AND 15,000 AMERICAN INDIANS, INCLUDING WORLD WAR II VETERANS AND NEW 
RECRUITS, FOUGHT COMMUNIST AGGRESSION IN THE KOREAN WAR, AND DURING THE 
VIETNAM WAR, 41,500 AMERICAN INDIANS, MORE THAN 90 PERCENT OF THEM VOLUNTEERS, 
FOUGHT COURAGEOUSLY.  IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, THREE SAILORS OF AMERICAN 
INDIAN HERITAGE HAVE RECEIVED THE UNITED STATES' HIGHEST MILITARY HONOR, THE 
MEDAL OF HONOR.

5.  ALL COMMANDS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO INCREASE THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF 
AMERICAN INDIAN AND ALASKA NATIVE CULTURE AND CONTRIBUTIONS THROUGH PROGRAMS, 
EXHIBITS, PUBLICATIONS, AND PARTICIPATION IN MILITARY AND COMMUNITY EVENTS.  A 
SHOWCASE OF AMERICAN INDIANS AND ALASKA NATIVES IN NAVAL HISTORY BY THE NAVAL 
HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND CAN BE FOUND AT 
HTTP://WWW.HISTORY.NAVY.MIL/SPECIAL%20HIGHLIG
HTS/NATIVEAMERICAN/NATIVEAMERICAN-INDEX.HTM.  A PRESENTATION IS AVAILABLE ON 
THE DEFENSE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE WEB SITE AT 
HTTP://WWW.DEOMI.ORG/SPECIALOBSERVANCE/PRESENTATIONS.CFM?CATID=8.
MORE INFORMATION ON NATIONAL COMMEMORATIONS FROM THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CAN 
BE FOUND AT HTTP://NATIVEAMERICANHERITAGEMONTH.GOV/.

6.  MEMBERS MAY ALSO PARTICIPATE IN THE SOCIETY OF AMERICAN INDIAN GOVERNMENT 
EMPLOYEES (SAIGE), WHICH WORKS TO PROMOTE THE RECRUITMENT, RETENTION, AND 
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF AMERICAN INDIAN AND ALASKA NATIVE GOVERNMENT 
EMPLOYEES.  MORE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE AT HTTP://WWW.SAIGE.ORG/.

7.  POINT OF CONTACT IS ENS AMBER LYNN DANIEL, OPNAV N134, AT
(703) 695-0820/DSN 225 OR VIA E-MAIL AT AMBERLYNN.DANIEL(AT)NAVY.MIL.

8.  RELEASED BY VICE ADMIRAL S. R. VAN BUSKIRK, N1.//

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