November 19, 1987

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

We do well to set aside the week in which Thanksgiving falls to honor the achievements of American Indians, the first inhabitants of the lands that now constitute the continental United States. Native Americans' assistance made a significant difference for early settlers. Since then, American Indians have continued to make valuable contributions to our country. They have served with valor and distinction in wartime, and their artistic, entrepreneurial, and other skills have truly enriched our national heritage.

The Constitution affirmed the special relationship of the Federal government with American Indians when it stipulated, ``the Congress shall have Power To . . . regulate commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes; . . . .'' This unique government-to-government relationship continues today and has been reinforced through treaties, laws, and court decisions. During the Bicentennial of the Constitution, it is especially fitting that we recognize and celebrate the many contributions of American Indians.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 53, has designated the period beginning November 22, 1987, and ending November 28, 1987, as ``American Indian Week'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the period beginning November 22, 1987, and ending November 28, 1987, as American Indian Week, and I request all Americans to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twelfth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:20 a.m., November 20, 1987]