American Indian Heritage Day

September 23, 2005


Article X, section 1(2), of the Montana Constitution recognizes the distinct and unique cultural heritage of American Indians and commits the state in its educational goals to the preservation of their cultural integrity.

In acknowledgement of our constitutional and educational responsibility for full participation in Indian Education for All Montana, MCA 20-1-501, we hereby acknowledge the importance of Montana s American Indian history and culture. The histories and cultures of American Indians are an integral part of the history of the nation and the State of Montana. The Montana Legislature has recognized that all Montanans have an invaluable opportunity for cultural enrichment through contact with the culture and philosophy of American Indians.

As we begin this academic year, we emphasize to all in the Montana University System that the Montana Legislature in 1997 passed a law designating the fourth Friday of September as American Indian Heritage Day. This legislative action grants American Indian Heritage Day the same commemorative status as Columbus Day, Lincoln s and Washington s birthdays, and Flag Day.

The campuses of the Montana University System are charged with conducting appropriate exercises commemorating the role of Indians in Montana s past and present.

We hereby affirm the celebration of this day in significant ways across the campuses of the Montana University System, and commend the celebration of this day throughout the state of Montana.


John Mercer
Board of Regents



Sheila Stearns
Commissioner of Higher Education