|  October 25, 2014  |  
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Begich Statement on Native American Heritage Month

“Before the Senate breaks for the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to recognize Alaska’s first peoples in honor of Native American Heritage month, celebrated during the entire month of November.  Alaska is home to 229 federally recognized tribes. This month we honor all of them from the Tlingit and Haida in Southeast, to the Athabascan in the Interior, to the Inupiaq, Yup’ik and Aleut along the coastlines. Alaska Native people have called our great state home since time immemorial.”

“Alaska Native tribal governments, non-profits, health organizations, corporations, armed service men and women, artists, teachers and cultural bearers, continue to make significant contributions to the fabric of Alaskan society.  Without these influences, Alaska would not be what it is today. This is why we must continue to honor the brave sacrifices made by Alaska Native civil rights heroes such as Elizabeth and Roy Peratovich who fought against discrimination in their own homelands.  We have come far since those days, but there is much work to be done moving forward.” 

“As we continue to strengthen and grow Alaska’s economy, it is crucial that Alaska Native tribes, villages, non-profits and corporations are a part of this effort.  As I have said before, we cannot have a strong urban Alaska unless rural Alaska is thriving too.” 

“Native American Heritage month gives us all the opportunity to reflect and honor the contributions that Alaska Native’s and Native Americans have made in Alaska and in the entire United States.  I hope that all Alaskan’s join me in celebrating Alaska Native culture and heritage and that we continue to work together to build strong, healthy communities in both urban and rural Alaska.”

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