Native American Heritage Day

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Native American Heritage Day
Observed byUnited States of America
SignificanceA day in honor of Native Americans
DateDay after U.S. Thanksgiving
2021 dateNovember 26  (2021-11-26)
2022 dateNovember 25  (2022-11-25)
2023 dateNovember 24  (2023-11-24)
2024 dateNovember 29  (2024-11-29)

Native American Heritage Day is a civil holiday observed on the day after Thanksgiving in the United States.

National legislative history[edit]

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. The Native American Heritage Day Bill[1] was supported by the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) and 184 federally recognized tribes, and designates Friday, November 28, 2008, as a day to pay tribute to Native Americans for their many contributions to the United States.[citation needed]

The Native American Heritage Day Bill encourages Americans of all backgrounds to observe the day after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day, through appropriate ceremonies and activities. It also encourages public elementary and secondary schools to enhance student understanding of Native Americans by providing classroom instructions focusing on their history, achievements, and contributions.[citation needed]

The United States House of Representatives originally passed H.J. Res. 62 on November 13, 2007. The bill was passed with technical adjustments by unanimous consent in the United States Senate on September 22, 2008. Then, on September 26, 2008, the House of Representatives unanimously voted to pass the legislation again, this time including the adjustments from the Senate. The legislation was signed into public law by the President on October 8, 2008.[citation needed]

Some individual states have also taken legislative action to recognize this day. For example, Maryland established this day in 2008 under the name American Indian Heritage Day.[2] Further, the State House of Washington approved this measure in 2013.[3]

In addition to calling Thanksgiving the "National Day of Mourning,"[4] some Native Americans believe it is "poor taste" for Native American Heritage Day to be on Black Friday - "a day of excess and gluttony and greed and aggressive capitalism" - which itself "falls after a holiday that omits the murder and mutilation of Natives mourn the millions of indigenous people who died as a result of aggressive settler colonialism."[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ House Joint Resolution 62, Native American Heritage Day Act of 2008.
  2. ^ Maryland Laws 2008, Chapter 486, State Holiday -American Indian Heritage Day.
  3. ^ Associated, The (2013-02-21). "Washington state House approves 'Native American Heritage Day' bill". oregonlive. Retrieved 2019-11-08.
  4. ^ "For Many Native Americans, Fall Is The Least Wonderful Time Of The Year". Retrieved 2017-11-24.
  5. ^ "Native American Heritage Day Falling On Black Friday Is 'Poor Taste,' Activist Says". Retrieved 2017-11-24.