PORTLAND, Ore.—On October 29, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. proclaimed November 2021 as National Native American Heritage Month.
The proclamation honors the perseverance of American Indian and Alaska Native peoples and reaffirms the nation’s commitment to upholding trust and treaty responsibilities, strengthen Tribal sovereignty, and advance Tribal self-determination. The proclamation also recognizes the resilience of native peoples despite a painful history of enduring unjust Federal policies, to include assimilation and termination.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon joins its Tribal, federal, state, and local partners in taking this opportunity to celebrate the countless contributions of native peoples past and present and honor the influence they have had on the advancement of our nation.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is deeply committed to working with our Tribal partners to build and sustain strong, healthy, and safe native communities. The disproportionately high levels of violence experienced by American Indians and Alaska Native peoples, especially Native American women, is unacceptable and requires urgent law enforcement action,” said Scott Erik Asphaug, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon. “Pursuing justice on behalf of Tribal communities will always be a top priority for this office.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has a proud history of actively engaging in government-to-government relationship building with the nine federally recognized Tribal nations in the District of Oregon. A multi-disciplinary team of prosecutors and victim advocates works tirelessly to bring justice to Tribal crime victims and provide statewide leadership on a variety of pressing law enforcement issues impacting Tribal communities.
In June 2020, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the hiring of its first Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) program coordinator and, in February 2021, released its first annual MMIP program report. MMIP is an important and sensitive issue to Tribal communities. To learn more about the U.S. Attorney’s Office MMIP program, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-or/indian-country/mmip.html.
With Veteran’s Day 2021 approaching, the U.S. Attorney’s Office also recognizes and honors American Indians and Alaska Natives who have served or continue to serve in our nation’s Armed Forces. As President Biden’s proclamation states, for more than 200 years, “Native Americans have defended our country during every major conflict and continue to serve at a higher rate than any other ethnic group” in the U.S.
For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office Indian Country Program or to sign up for our Indian Country Quarterly Newsletter, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-or/indian-country.