Native American Day, observed annually on the second Monday in October, celebrates the cultures and contributions of the many Native American tribes. The observance is also known as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
While it is not celebrated in all 50 states, it is recognized in both California and South Dakota and gaining popularity in the rest of the nation. In other parts of the country, Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrations occur on this day. Events such as traditional dances, art displays and ceremonies have begun to replace Columbus Day practices.
The observance focuses on celebrating the culture, heritage, and history of tribes across the nation. Each diverse nation carries its own traditions, rituals, and beliefs. The day celebrates their knowledge, contributions and enriching heritage. It’s also a reminder of their enduring legacy of strength, energy, and fortitude.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIVE AMERICAN DAY
Learn about Native American cultures. Attend events near you. Visit art museums or read books by Native American authors. Learn about Native American history. Explore the language and efforts to bring lost language back. Use #NativeAmericanDay to post on social media.
NATIVE AMERICAN DAY HISTORY
The South Dakota legislature unanimously passed legislation proposed by Governor George S. Mickelson in 1989 to proclaim 1990 as the “Year of Reconciliation” between Native Americans and whites and to change Columbus Day to Native American Day.
In 2021, President Joseph Biden issued the first presidential proclamation for National Indigenous Peoples’ Day.