Is Native American Day a National Holiday?

Native American Day is a holiday that is celebrated in some states of the United States. It is celebrated on different dates depending on the state, but it usually falls on the fourth Friday in September. The day is meant to honor and recognize the contributions of Native Americans to American society and culture.

History of Native American Day

The idea of having a day to honor Native Americans was first proposed in the early 20th century by Dr. Arthur Caswell Parker, a Seneca Indian who was the first director of the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences. He suggested the day to be celebrated on the second Saturday of May to coincide with the end of the traditional planting season.

In California, the state legislature recognized the need for a day to recognize the contributions of Native Americans and declared the fourth Friday in September as Native American Day in 1968. Since then, other states like South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Nevada have also declared a Native American Day, but on different dates.

Is Native American Day a National Holiday?

While Native American Day is celebrated in some states, it is not recognized as a national holiday by the federal government. This means that it is not a day off for federal employees, and some businesses may not recognize it either.

However, there have been efforts to make Native American Day a national holiday. In 2016, former U.S. Senator Al Franken introduced a bill to designate the day after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day. The bill was not passed, but the effort shows that there is support for recognizing Native American contributions to American society.

Why Native American Day Matters

Native Americans have a rich and complex history in the United States, yet their contributions and struggles have often been overlooked or marginalized. Native American Day serves as a way to recognize and honor the important role that Native Americans have played in shaping American society and culture.

By celebrating Native American Day, we can also raise awareness and promote understanding of Native American issues and challenges. This can help to promote unity and healing between Native American communities and the broader American society.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Native American Day is a holiday that is celebrated in some states to honor and recognize the contributions of Native Americans to American society and culture. While it is not recognized as a national holiday, there are efforts to make it so. The day is important because it raises awareness and promotes understanding of Native American issues and challenges and can help to promote unity and healing.

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