So---how can you (parent, teacher, librarian) turn President Obama's proclamation into a here-and-now activity that can use anytime of the year?
House Concurrent Resolution 331, passed in October 1988. For information about one of the Native nations that comprise the Iroquois Confederacy, visit the website of the Onondaga Nation. If you work with middle school students, get copies of Eric Gansworth's If I Ever Get Out of Here. He's Onondaga, and his novel is outstanding.
In the second paragraph, President Obama says "we must not ignore the painful history Native Americans have endured..." You probably know about wars between the U.S. and American Indian nations, but did you know universities had research studies in which they sterilized Native people? To learn about that, read Joseph Bruchac's Hidden Roots. Did you know that in Alaska, Native children at boarding schools were used as guinea pigs for radioactive research? Take a look at Debby Dahl Edwardson's My Name Is Not Easy.
In the third paragraph, President Obama says "In March, I signed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which recognizes tribal courts' power to convict and sentence certain perpetuators of domestic violence, regardless of whether they are Indian or non-Indian." To read about that, pick up a copy of Louise Erdrich's The Round House.
In the fourth paragraph, President Obama invites Americans to "shape a future worthy of a bright new generation, and together, let us ensure this country's promise is fully realized for every Native American." Most books about American Indians are inaccurate and biased. As such, they shape ignorance in non-Native people. Let's set those ones aside and work towards that bright new future for all of us.