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When is National Native American Day?

The second Monday in October is National Native American Day.

What is National Native American Day?

The Native Americans gave us corn after thousands of years of selective breeding. That’s brilliant, and it’s not the only brilliant thing about the American Indians. National Native American Day honors the peoples who are indigenous to American soil.

The day actually began as a celebration antithetical to Columbus Day, rejecting Columbus as a symbol of Western colonial violence. Many U.S. states celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day on this day instead of Columbus Day. Many Native Americans use it as a chance to showcase their culture and history.

Fun facts about National Native American Day!

  • The English words ‘opossum’ (white dog) and ‘chipmunk’ (red squirrel) come from the Native American language Algonquian.
  • California and Nevada celebrate National Native American Day on the fourth Friday of September.
  • On the fourth Monday in September, Tennessee observes American Indian Day.
  • Some Native Americans used to bend tree trunks in order to mark trails. Many of these bent trunks still exist today.
  • In California, the Yuki people count with the spaces between their fingers rather than counting their actual fingers, so they count with base 8, not base 10.

How to celebrate National Native American Day:

  • Find an event that offers traditional art and ceremonies to teach you about the tribes in your area.
  • Attend a Pow Wow that’s open to the public. Research in advance how to be respectful. Remember that these folks are there to celebrate their cultural heritage, not to entertain you.

What’s the hashtag for National Native American Day?

Use #NativeAmericanDay on social media to share your celebrations.