Each year, the President issues a proclamation in recognition of the National American Indian Heritage Month, which is observed from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30. The observance month recognizes American Indians for their respect for natural resources and the Earth.
American Indians are also recognized for having served with valor in our Nation's conflicts and for their many distinct and important contributions to the United States. The theme for this year’s observance is Honoring Our Nations: Building Strength Through Understanding.
During World War I and World War II, many American Indian people served in the U.S. military as “code talkers” and used their tribal languages as an unbreakable military code. These “code talkers” came from many different tribes including Chippewa, Choctaw, Creek, Crow, Comanche, Hopi, Navajo, Seminole and Sioux. During World War II, the Navajos constituted the largest component within the elite group.
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American Indians have historically had the highest military service per capita record when compared to other ethnic groups. Their culture celebrates traditional values that compel them to serve their country. They are heritage to a proud warrior tradition, best exemplified by the following qualities said to be inherent to most, if not all, Native American societies: strength, honor, pride, devotion and wisdom.
These qualities closely correlate with military tradition. This National American Indian Heritage Month, we take time to appreciate the contributions American Indians have made and continue to make for our nation.