Native American Day, as can be told by the name, is a Day that is regarded as a celebration of Native American Culture and heritage. On this day, the contributions that the Native Americans did to the history of the different states are recognized and celebrated as a judicial holiday.
When is Native American Day Celebrated?
Native American Day is celebrated at different times in different states. Where California and Nevada celebrate this day on the Fourth Friday of September, other areas such as South Dakota and Wisconsin celebrate it on the second Monday of October.
The Origin of Native American Day
At first, Columbus Day was celebrated throughout the states as an honor for the Italians who migrated into the state. However, this served as discrimination against the Natives who suffered at the hands of these immigrants. Seeing a history of thievery, colonization, and much more at the hands of the Italian Americans, Natives were refusing to celebrate Columbus Day.
Rising commotion and protests led to the idea of celebrating ‘Indigenous People’s Day at a United Nations conference in 1977. Eventually, this was agreed upon. Hence the judicial holiday came into existence.
Since When has Indigenous People’s Day Been Celebrated?
When South Dakota declared 1990 to be a year of peace between Native Americans and Caucasian populations, the previous Columbus Day was changed to Native American Day. National Native American Day was first observed as a holiday in 1998. Since then this holiday has been celebrated every year as a time to remember and rejoice.
Columbus Day and Native American Day
Columbus Day is celebrated by the Italian heritage people. These people believe that Columbus’ arrival in America helped them gain freedom and liberation as well as a place to make a home. However, the Natives who were already living there were not happy about welcoming these immigrants into their homeland. The flood of people pouring into the states only caused uproar and many incidents in which lives were lost too.
Do all States Celebrate Both Days?
As not to discriminate against one group of people and their heritage and cultural values while celebrating the other group, both these holidays are celebrated throughout America. Some states only celebrate Native American Day, some only celebrate Columbus Day. While other states are also known for celebrating and recognizing both days equally as judicial holidays.
It is important to celebrate one’s cultural heritage and honor all the hardships and contributions that went into the development of America. Celebrate this holiday while being thankful for the freedom that you have now. And don’t forget to wish your Native American or Italian American friend’s a happy Columbus Day or a happy Indigenous People’s Day!