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Native American Day

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Native American Day is a holiday observed in several states in celebration of Native American culture. In California and Nevada, the holiday is designated on the fourth Friday of September, whereas in South Dakota and Wisconsin, it falls on the second Monday of October. Within each of these states, Native American Day honors the cultural contributions of Native American communities to the respective state's history, as well as to the overall country. The state of Washington celebrates Native American Heritage Day on the Friday immediately following the fourth Thursday in November. The state of Tennessee observes a similar American Indian Day each year on the fourth Monday of September.


Native American Day (CA)
Observed byCalifornia[Note 1]
SignificanceA day in honor of Native Americans
DateFourth Friday in September
2020 dateSeptember 25  (2020-09-25)
2021 dateSeptember 24  (2021-09-24)
2022 dateSeptember 23  (2022-09-23)
2023 dateSeptember 22  (2023-09-22)

In 1939, Governor Culbert Olson declared October 1 to be "Indian Day", making California the first state to honor this holiday. In 1968, Governor Ronald Reagan signed a resolution calling for a holiday called American Indian Day, to be held the Fourth Friday in September. In 1998, the California Assembly passed AB 1953, which made Native American Day an official state holiday, designated annually on the fourth Friday in September. However, as of 2021, the State of California does not actually observe this holiday by closing its government offices, giving its employees paid time off, or encouraging private businesses to do the same in observance.[1]


In 1997, the state of Nevada also declared the Fourth Friday of September as Native American Day.[2]

South Dakota

Native American Day (SD)
Observed bySouth Dakota
SignificanceA day in honor of Native Americans
DateSecond Monday in October
2020 dateOctober 12  (2020-10-12)
2021 dateOctober 11  (2021-10-11)
2022 dateOctober 10  (2022-10-10)
2023 dateOctober 9  (2023-10-09)

In 1989, the South Dakota legislature unanimously passed legislation proposed by Governor George S. Mickelson to proclaim 1990 as the "Year of Reconciliation" between Native Americans and whites, to change Columbus Day to Native American Day and to make Martin Luther King's birthday into a state holiday.[3] Since 1990, the second Monday in October has been celebrated as Native American Day in South Dakota.

On October 3, 2017, The Proclamation of Native American day was announced by the Mayor of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Accepting the Proclamation would be the Lakota-Dakota-Nakota representatives of Sioux Falls.

South Dakota and Vermont, which celebrates Indigenous Peoples' Day, are the only states to practice non-observance of the federal holiday of Columbus Day.


In 1994, the state General Assembly established the "fourth Monday in September of each year" to be especially observed in Tennessee as "American Indian Day" (TCA 15-2-106), "to recognize the contributions of American Indians with suitable ceremony and fellowship designed to promote greater understanding and brotherhood between American Indians and the non-Indian people of the state of Tennessee".

American Indian Day (TN)
Observed byTennessee
SignificanceA day in honor of Native Americans
DateFourth Monday in September
2020 dateSeptember 28  (2020-09-28)
2021 dateSeptember 27  (2021-09-27)
2022 dateSeptember 26  (2022-09-26)
2023 dateSeptember 25  (2023-09-25)


In 2014, the Washington state Legislature designated the Friday immediately following the fourth Thursday in November, currently a state legal and school holiday" to be recognized and honored as "Native American Heritage Day." (RCW 1.16.050), " recognize and honor Washington state's proud and resonant Native American heritage".

See also


  1. ^ "State Holidays". State of California. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  2. ^ "Section 1. NRS 236.040". Laws of the State of Nevada. 1997. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  3. ^ ""Governor George S. Mickelson"" (PDF). South Dakota State Historical Society,



South Dakota


  1. ^ The State of California does not actually observe the holiday by closing its offices, or giving its employees paid time off; nor does it encourage private businesses to close in observation.

This page was last edited on 23 November 2021, at 21:47
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