Native American Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October. It was officially established in 1998 to recognize and honor the history, culture, knowledge, and contributions of Native American communities who have been part of what is now the United States for centuries. This day also serves as an opportunity to learn from the past and take steps to ensure that this history is never repeated.
Native Americans have been present throughout the continent since before the time when settlers from Europe began to colonize the land. The holiday focuses on their heritage, culture, knowledge and contributions that have been passed down to us from our ancestors. It is widely celebrated in every state with various festivals and concerts.
- Popcorn was the first to be invented – Native Americans first domesticated corn, from which the delicacy is made.
- Native Americans were subjected to persecution and humiliation, and were forced to live on reservations.
- The Navajo language was used during the Vietnam War and could not be deciphered by any opponent.
- Native Americans had three main language groups.
- Many states have retained the names given to them by Native Americans, such as Missouri, Kentucky, Arizona, and Idaho.
- Native Americans endowed totems with meaning, often depicting animals that were considered special for the family.
How to take part
Reading about Native American history is a great way to learn and take part in the holiday. Additionally, visiting local museums to view Native American artifacts, and looking at artwork from different centuries can help to understand and appreciate the culture and heritage of Native Americans. Taking part in festivals and concerts is also a great way to celebrate the day.
When is National Native American Day celebrated in 2023?
National Native American Day is observed on the second Monday in October each year.