Native American Day 2023 – September 22, Know Significance, History, and Celebration

Native American Day is an annual holiday celebrated to honor the rich and diverse cultural traditions of Native American communities. In the states of California and Nevada, it is celebrated on the 4th Friday of September. On the other hand, it falls on the 2nd Monday of October in South Dakota and Wisconsin.

So, Native American Day 2023 will be celebrated on Friday, September 22nd, 2023 in California & Nevada, and on Monday, October 9th, 2023 in South Dakota & Wisconsin.

This day also provides the perfect opportunity to recognize and respect the contributions of Native Americans in the US. Various events including parades and exhibitions are organized on this day throughout the country. Join us as we delve deep into the details of Native American Day and explore some interesting facts about this day. 

Highlights of Native American Day 2023

Name of the dayNative American Day
DateFriday, September 22, 2023 (in California & Nevada) Monday, October 9, 2023 (in South Dakota & Wisconsin)
PurposeTo honor the cultural contribution of Native American Communities in the US

Native American Day History

The history of Native American Day varies in context to different states as explained below.


  • Governor Culbert Olson was the first one to declare a holiday to show respect to Native Americans. He declared Indian Day on October 1st.
  • After that, in 1968, Governor Ronald Reagan drafted a resolution to call the 4th Friday of September the “American Indian Day”.
  • California Assembly passed AB 1953 in 1998 declaring “Native American Day” an official state holiday.
  • Today, Native American Day is also a judicial holiday in California.


  • Nevada also created a rule in 1997 to declare the 4th Friday of September as Native American Day.

South Dakota

  • 1989, Governor George S. Mickelson proposed legislation to designate 1990 as the “Year of Reconciliation” between whites and Native Americans.
  • The South Dakota legislature also unanimously passed a bill to change Columbus Day to Native American Day and make Martin Luther King’s birthday a state holiday.
  • Since 1990, the second Monday of October has been celebrated as Native American Day in the state.

Significance of Native American Day

The significance of Native American Day is explained in the following points.

  • This day is the opportunity to recognize and respect the cultural heritage of Native Americans.
  • Native American Day also encourages people to learn more about the unique art, music, language, and customs of Native Americans.
  • This is also the day to remember the sacrifices endured by native americans.
  • Another aim of this day is to promote unity among Americans. All Americans should work together for the progress of the country forgetting their differences.

Check: List of Important Days and Dates

How to Celebrate Native American Day?

Here are some innovative methods by which you can celebrate Native American Day 2023.

  1. Honor Native Language Speaker – During World War 1, hundreds of indigenous people joined the armed forces of America. They used their native American language and confused the enemy. On this Native American Day, you should honor native american language speakers.
  2. Plan a trip to Mesa Verde National Park – Mesa Verde National Park is a group of around 4 thousand archaeological sites that tell us more about 700 years of Native American history.
  3. Know more about indigenous art – You can also use this day as an opportunity to understand more about Native American art and artists.
  4. Try Totonac Spiritual Cuisine – It is a Native American cuisine with more than 200 different recipes. You may consider trying such cuisines on this day.
  5. Spread the words – Let more and more people know about this day. Use your social media accounts to spread stories and inspirational posts about Native Americans.

Upcoming Events

DayIn California and NevadaIn South Dakota and Wisconsin
Native American Day 2023September 22, 2023October 9, 2023
Native American Day 2024September 27, 2024October 14, 2024
Native American Day 2025September 26, 2025October 13, 2025

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are Native Americans?

They are indigenous people of the United States of America and its territories.

Which states in the United States have the highest number of native Americans?

Alaska, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Montana, and North Dakota have the highest populations of native Americans.

Why are Native Americans called “Indians”?

It is so because Christopher Colombus mistook them for Indians. This happened during his endeavor when he set out to discover India ending up discovering America.

Are Native American Day and National Native American Heritage Day the same?

No, they are different. National Native American Heritage Day is observed on the day after Thanksgiving.

Is Native American Day celebrated in all 50 states?

No, it is not celebrated in all 50 states.

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