American Indian Day – A Tribute to Native American Settlers

On May 13 1983, President Ronald Regan signed a proclamation declaring it “American Indian Day” in honor of the Native American people who first settled this land.

The proclamation states, “In recognition of the unique status and contribution of the American Indian peoples to our Nation, the Congress of the United States, by House Joint Resolution 459 (P.L. 97 – 445), has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation designating May 13, 1983 as `American Indian Day.’”

For the entirety of the existence of our country, there have been treaties between the Native American tribes and our Government, but in January of 1983, Reagan’s administration set forth to strengthen the ties and to increase the sovereignty of the individual tribes.

A few years later, the Senate and President Reagan designated November 23 – 30 as “American Indian Week.” Then in 1991, Congress passed Senate Joint Resolution 172 (Pub. L. 102-123) authorizing and requesting the President to proclaim the month of November 1991, and the month of each November thereafter, as “American Indian Heritage Month.”

Since then, each president has proclaimed November as “American Indian Heritage Month” and continued the honor for the first settlers of this land.

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) makes these proclamations, including the original 1983 Proclamation 5049, available in digital files through govinfo. As the GPO continues its efforts to digitize vital Government documents, the history of our Nation and the story of the continued collaboration with the sovereign Native American tribes will be documented and provided to the public for free. It’s all part of our mission in Keeping America Informed.

The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) also has several of the ongoing acts and resolutions that Congress has passed through the years to assist the Native American tribes such as:

If you’re interested in learning more about the History of the American Indian tribes, visit the GPO Bookstore and pick up a volume of the Smithsonian’s Handbook of North American Indians series. It is the ultimate resource for Native American history across various regions of North America. The multi-volume hardcover reference set is intended to give an encyclopedic summary of what is known about the prehistory, history, and cultures of the aboriginal peoples of North America north of the urban civilizations of central Mexico.


Click on the Links: For the free resources, click on the links above in the blog post.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Scott Pauley is a Writer and Editor in GPO’s Library Services and Content Management office.

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