Holiday Designation Recognizes the Contributions of First Americans
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Martin O’Malley proclaimed today, November 29, 2013, as American Indian Heritage Day in Maryland. During the 2008 session, the Maryland General Assembly approved House Bill 83 making the fourth Friday of November a legal holiday to acknowledge the proud history of American Indians in Maryland.
“In honor of the rich history and culture of the American Indian community in our state, today we officially observe American Indian Heritage Day,” said Governor O’Malley. “It is fitting that we recognize the enormous contributions the First Americans have made to Maryland’s culture, heritage and shared prosperity, from the birth of our colony to the present day.”
The first official designation of the holiday in state history was proclaimed five years ago in November 2008. Sponsored by Delegate Talmadge Branch, House Bill 83 also received strong support and leadership from Senator Joan Carter-Conway and delegates Kumar P. Barve and James E. Proctor Jr.
American Indian Heritage Day in Maryland runs in conjunction with the national designation of the Friday after Thanksgiving as a day to pay tribute to Native Americans, established by the U. S. House of Representatives in November of 2007. The first American Indian Day recognized by a state was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the Governor of New York.
American Indian Heritage Day in Maryland is recognized as a part of the state and national celebration of National American Indian Heritage Month. In November 1990, a joint resolution was approved by the President of the United States designating November for the month-long celebration. Proclamations are made each year by the President declaring the heritage month celebration.