WHEREAS, the area known today as North Carolina is located geographically on ancestral land that has long been called home by Indigenous people; and

WHEREAS, today, there are more than 130,000 North Carolinians who identify as American Indian, according to the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau, and represent the second largest American Indian population east of the Mississippi River and the seventh largest American Indian population in the United States; and

WHEREAS, North Carolina is home to eight state-recognized Indian tribes; the Coharie: Eastern Band of Cherokee, Haliwa-Saponi, Lumbee, Meherrin, Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, Sappony, and Waccamaw Siouan; and

WHEREAS, our state is also home to four Urban Indian Organizations that hold membership on the NC Commission of Indian Affairs, including the Cumberland County Association for Indian People, Guilford Native American Association, Metrolina Native American Association, and Triangle Native American Society; and

WHEREAS, we must preserve the rich history of American Indians to continue building a brighter future for North Carolina and all its people, which includes maintaining robust government-to-government relations with tribes and Urban Indian Associations; and

WHEREAS, the State of North Carolina has a distinct and ongoing history of relations with American Indians, establishing the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs, the North Carolina American Indian Heritage Commission, the North Carolina Indian Housing Authority, and the State Advisory Council on Indian Education among others; and

WHEREAS, this month, we honor the vibrant and diverse cultures of American Indians across our state, strengthening partnerships, understanding, and appreciation of our state’s native population; and

WHEREAS, the State of North Carolina encourages residents to learn more about the rich history of American Indians and commit to preserve American Indian heritage and traditions for generations to come;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ROY COOPER, Governor of the State of North Carolina, do hereby proclaim November, 2022, as “AMERICAN INDIAN HERITAGE MONTH” in North Carolina, and commend its observance to all citizens.

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