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H.Res. 1042: Expressing the sense that there should be established a “National Garifuna Immigrant Heritage Month” in April to celebrate the great contributions of Americans of Garifuna immigrant heritage in the United States who have enriched the history of the Nation.


The text of the resolution below is as of Apr 6, 2022 (Introduced).


IV

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. RES. 1042

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 6, 2022

submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Reform

RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense that there should be established a National Garifuna Immigrant Heritage Month in April to celebrate the great contributions of Americans of Garifuna immigrant heritage in the United States who have enriched the history of the Nation.

Whereas people of Garifuna heritage are found in every State of the Union, including the Bronx, New York, the home of the largest Garifuna community outside of Central America;

Whereas the history of Americans of Garifuna immigrant heritage in the United States is inextricably tied to the story of the Nation;

Whereas Americans of Garifuna immigrant heritage in the United States come from the Central American region and have a common heritage and language which goes beyond national borders;

Whereas Americans of Garifuna immigrant heritage in the United States came to the United States voluntarily, and are distinct but with a similar origin from African Americans, as both are descendants of mostly West and Central Africans who were involuntarily brought to the North American Continent by means of the historic Atlantic slave trade;

Whereas the West African slaves that escaped to the island eventually intermarried with the Caribs and the Arawaks’ Indigenous native people, which gave birth to what today we know as the Garifuna people;

Whereas after a battle against the British which resulted in the surrender of the Garifuna people, the defeated Garifuna leaders were transported to England and the rest of the Garifuna people to the island of Roatan, Honduras, where they arrived on April 12, 1797, and the settlement in Central America began;

Whereas this year we commemorate the 225th anniversary since the arrival of the Garifuna people in Central America;

Whereas National Garifuna Immigrant Heritage Month provides an opportunity to commemorate and recognize the contributions of the Garifuna people and looks to highlight the history and culture of Central American Black Indigenous immigrants in the United States;

Whereas language, dance, and music of the Garifuna people from Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua have been inscribed on the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which was first proclaimed in 2001, of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO);

Whereas raising awareness about the fight for land rights and their life that the Garifuna people have encountered against tourism developers and drug traffickers in the region of Pintadillera, Playa Blanca, Puerto Grande, La Flor, Ciudad Morazán (Choloma), Orquídea (Colón), and Próspera (Islas de la Bahía); and

Whereas raising awareness about Garifuna immigrant heritage is crucial to effectively fighting disparities and injustices against Black and Indigenous populations in the United States, Latin America, and across the world: Now, therefore, be it

That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that—

(1)

a National Garifuna Immigrant Heritage Month should be established to celebrate the significant contributions of Americans of recent Garifuna immigrant heritage to the history of the United States; and

(2)

the people of the United States should observe the month with appropriate ceremonies, celebrations, and activities to recognize that Americans of recent Garifuna immigrant heritage enhance the rich diversity of and strengthen the United States.