By the President of the United States of America
The Americans we know as American Indians and Native Americans were the first explorers and settlers of the areas that now make up the United States. Mountain and river, lake and valley, State and county, trail and town across the land bear Indian names; they are lasting reminders of the presence and the significance of American Indians not just in our geography but throughout the whole of American history.
Many of the foods we eat and the medicines and remedies we use were introduced by Indians, and more than one highway follows an Indian trail. Indians make contributions in every area of endeavor and American life, and our literature and all our arts draw upon Indian themes and wisdom. Countless American Indians have served in our Armed Forces and have fought valiantly for our country. All Americans are grateful for these lasting contributions.
We look to the future with the expectation of even stronger tribal governments and lessened Federal control over tribal government affairs. We look to a future of development of economic independence and self-sufficiency, and an enhanced government-to-government relationship that will allow greater Indian control of Indian resources.
During the Thanksgiving season, generations of Americans have been reminded of the early friendship of the Pilgrims and American Indians. We give thanks to God for the friendship, cooperation, and brotherhood between American Indians and other Americans, as we thank Him for all the many blessings He bestows on us. We thank Him for all that American Indians and Native Americans have meant and continue to mean to American life.
The Congress, by Public Law 99-471, has designated the week of November 23 through November 30, 1986, 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 week beginning November 23 through November 30, 1986, as American Indian Week, and I request all Americans to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eleventh.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:12 a.m., November 25, 1986]