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Native American Day

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Native American Day is a holiday observed in several US 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. President George W. Bush signed into law legislation introduced by Congressman Joe Baca (D-Calif.), to designate the Friday after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day.


Native American Day (CA)
Observed byCalifornia
SignificanceA day in honor of Native Americans
DateFourth Friday in September
2023 dateSeptember 22  (2023-09-22)
2024 dateSeptember 27  (2024-09-27)
2025 dateSeptember 26  (2025-09-26)
2026 dateSeptember 25  (2026-09-25)

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. In 2021, the State of California amended section 135 of the Code of Civil Procedure (effective January 1, 2022),[1] making Native American Day a judicial holiday; Columbus Day remains on the list of holidays in Government Code 6700,[2] but it is no longer a judicial holiday.


In 1997, the state of Nevada also declared the Fourth Friday of September as Native American Day.[3]

South Dakota[edit]

Native American Day (SD)
Observed bySouth Dakota
SignificanceA day in honor of Native Americans
DateSecond Monday in October
2023 dateOctober 9  (2023-10-09)
2024 dateOctober 14  (2024-10-14)
2025 dateOctober 13  (2025-10-13)
2026 dateOctober 12  (2026-10-12)

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.[4] 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.


American Indian Day (TN)
Observed byTennessee
SignificanceA day in honor of Native Americans
DateFourth Monday in September
2023 dateSeptember 25  (2023-09-25)
2024 dateSeptember 23  (2024-09-23)
2025 dateSeptember 22  (2025-09-22)
2026 dateSeptember 28  (2026-09-28)

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".


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[edit]


  1. ^ "Law section".
  2. ^ "Law section".
  3. ^ "Section 1. NRS 236.040". Laws of the State of Nevada. 1997. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  4. ^ ""Governor George S. Mickelson"" (PDF). South Dakota State Historical Society, history.sd.gov.

External links[edit]


South Dakota[edit]