Throughout Indian country there are tribal leaders who exemplify what it means to be a leader among America’s first peoples. These leaders standout by their contributions to the strength and diversity instilled within society in areas like law, medicine, business, education and the United States Armed Forces.
Impacts in each of these fields can be seen this year as and an example is the recent tribal leaders meeting at the White House to discuss economic development strategies.
So when the news was announced on August 25 that the California State Assembly passed ACR 72: California Native American Heritage Month and to honor four leaders from California tribes it was only fitting.
Assemblymember Luis A. Alejo (D-Salinas) introduced the bill that was coauthored by 67 other assemblymembers. The resolution to recognize November 2011 as Native American History Month will also honor James Ramos, chair of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Nancy Ayala, tribal council vice-chair of the Picayune Indian Nation; Mark Macarro, chairman of the Pechanga Indian Nation; and Mary Ann Andreas, vice chair of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians.
"I am happy that Assemblyman Alejo initiated these recognition efforts for Indian tribes in California," Ramos said in a tribal press release. "Native Americans have contributed significantly to make California what it is today. It is important to learn and know, for example, that in many parts of the state, the modern highways that we all use daily were once trails upon which Native people traveled to distant places for trade and commerce. Our state is rich in culture and history in a large part because of our contributions."
ACR 72 heads to the State Senate.