Native Americans have been a part of the American tradition even before the United States began. However, due to hundreds of years of persecution, much isn’t left of the neighboring tribes and many have integrated into modern society.
Those still in touch with their culture, however, will remember these events and want people to remember it. Native American Day is a holiday aimed at changing the way people view Native Americans.
Learn about Native American Day
As the name indicates, Native American Day pays honor to Native Americans. They are thought to be the first Americans to populate and live in the United States. North Americans had populated the entire North American continent before the first explorers and settlers from Europe came. This was all of the way from the Pacific to the Atlantic, as well as from the northern reaches of Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. It goes without saying that Native Americans play a huge part in the history of the United States, and so it is only right that there is a date to honor them.
This is a day that is celebrated across the United States. It can be celebrated on different dates depending on where in the United States you are based, so it is worth keeping this in mind. For example, in Wisconsin and South Dakota, it falls on the second Monday in October.
However, in Nevada and California, the date is celebrated on the fourth Friday in September. No matter where it is celebrated, though, it is all about paying honor to Native American communities and the cultural contributions they have made to the history of each state and the country as a whole.
The observance of Native American Day focuses on a celebration of the history, heritage, and culture of tribes across the United State. Each diverse nation has its own beliefs, rituals, and traditions. This day is about celebrating the enriching heritage, contributions, and knowledge of Native Americans.
It also serves as a great reminder of their enduring legacy of fortitude, energy, and strength. I think most people would agree that we do not always take enough time to sit back and reflect on what our ancestors have contributed to the world that we live in.
History of Native American Day
Native Americans were around long before the Europeans decided to colonize and take over the wild forests and plains of the United States. But while many people consider the Native Americans to be a long-forgotten tradition, Native Americans have a steep root in culture and history that has been cultivating for thousands of years.
From the Inuit tribes of Alaska, the Seneca nations of the Northeast, the Cherokees of the South, to the Navajo of the Southwest, Native Americans exist everywhere with different cultural traditions and hundreds of dialects in their languages. By the time Europeans traveled to America during the 15th century, over 50 million Native Americans lived throughout the continent.
Native American Day is about appreciating the long history of culture and traditions that Native Americans have preserved throughout time. The holiday is celebrated in states such as South Dakota and California. Native American Day was originally called “American Indian Day” when Govoner Ronald Reagan signed a resolution calling for a change in 1968.
Native American Day was officially declared a state holiday in 1998, and South Dakota proclaimed the year 1990 as a year of reconciliation between Native Americans and Caucasian populations, eventually changing Colombus Day to Native American Day. People celebrate this holiday by learning about the different kinds of tribes and cultures that persisted among all odds during what many Natives consider as their genocide.
How to celebrate Native American Day
Honor Native American cultures by learning about the tribes of your local area. Be respectful of their traditions and take the time to learn of their history. If you stand against the holiday Colombus Day, petition your congressman to change the celebration of that holiday for your state.
Help educate people about the cultures and traditions of the Native Americans by sharing this information with others. Advocate and support the Native Americans in their expression of their culture and help protect their rights by standing with them as an ally.
We would recommend taking a look at the events that are happening in your local area to see whether there is anything that you can join in with. As mentioned, there are differences in terms of events and celebrations depending on where in the United States you are based. For example, let’s start by taking a look at South Dakota. In South Dakota, the day is celebrated by using educational resources to focus on the background, culture, and traditions of Native Americans. It is about sharing many aspects of native culture, whether you are a native or not.
There are also a lot of celebrations that occur throughout different parts of California. In Berkeley, for instance, there are some churches, community groups, and organizations that will support Native American Day by carrying out activities that are focused on raising awareness about the traditions, culture, and history of the indigenous people in the U.S. Some of the cultural activities include the likes of pow wows and markets. Pow wows, for those who are unaware, are gatherings of indigenous people from North America. In modern times, these get-togethers involve celebrating Native American culture, socializing, singing, and dancing.