Washington, DC — Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today issued the following statement to mark National American Indian Heritage Month.
“Throughout the years and despite difficult odds, American Indians have helped to make America greater, stronger, and safer. This month, we pause to recognize that contribution. American Indians continue to influence and enrich our global culture. My home state of Nevada alone has 24 tribes that have helped shape the state into what it is today. More American Indians are now breaking barriers as they become the first in the family to graduate from college and professional schools. More are contributing and being elected to serve in tribal, local, state and federal posts. And, as they always have, more are serving our country in uniform and defending our nation around the world, in Afghanistan, and in Iraq.
“American Indians have made such great and important contributions to our nation even in the face of incredibly difficult odds. This National American Indian Heritage Month, we must look forward and pledge to fix the grossly-underfunded Indian health care system, to improve insufficient and inadequate housing stock on reservations, and to address the educational challenges at the elementary and secondary levels. And, for the Native servicemen and women on the frontlines of protecting America, we must commit ourselves to ensuring they receive the best physical and mental health care, housing assistance, and employment training when they return.”