September 27th

Native American Day -

Updated on by

Native American Day is a holiday observed in various states across the United States to honor and celebrate the cultures, contributions, and histories of Native American peoples. It serves as an important reminder of the significant role that indigenous tribes and individuals have played in the shaping of the national fabric. This day is dedicated to recognizing the rich traditions, languages, and legacies of Native Americans, as well as the challenges they have faced throughout history and continue to encounter today.

The observance of Native American Day can differ from state to state. For example, in California, it is celebrated on the fourth Friday of September, while South Dakota observes Native American Day on the second Monday of October, coinciding with the federal observance of Columbus Day.

Native American Day Timeline

Hohokam Culture

In what is now Arizona, the Hohokam culture began, known for their development of sophisticated irrigation canals.

Mississippian Culture Flourishes

The Mississippian culture, known for constructing large mounds, such as at Cahokia in present-day Illinois, reaches its peak.

Contact with Europeans

Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas marks the beginning of sustained contact between Native Americans and Europeans.

Indian Removal Act

President Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act, leading to the forced relocation of Native American tribes in the southeastern United States.

Wounded Knee Massacre

The massacre at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota results in the death of hundreds of Lakota Sioux, marking the end of the Indian Wars.

American Indian Movement

The American Indian Movement (AIM) is founded to advocate for Native American rights.

Occupation of Wounded Knee

Members of AIM and Oglala Lakota supporters occupy Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation in protest of government policies.

Landmark Supreme Court Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court rules in McGirt v. Oklahoma that much of eastern Oklahoma falls within Native American territories.

Ideas to Celebrate Native American Day

1 faq icon

Participate in a Cultural Workshop

Attend a workshop hosted by Native American educators to learn about traditional arts, crafts, or languages. Engage in activities like beadwork, basket weaving, or moccasin making to appreciate the skill and heritage behind these time-honored practices.

2 faq icon

Join a Powwow or Social Gathering

Experience the vibrancy of Native American culture by attending a powwow. Enjoy traditional dances, drumming, and singing, and take the opportunity to meet members of various tribes and learn about their customs and way of life.

3 faq icon

Visit a Tribal Museum or Cultural Center

Explore a local tribal museum or cultural center to gain a deeper understanding of Native American history, art, and traditions. Engage with interactive exhibits and view artifacts that are significant to the nation’s respective tribe.

4 faq icon

Support Native American Businesses

Make a conscious effort to support Native American entrepreneurs. Purchase from businesses that are owned by Native Americans, especially those that sell goods produced by tribe members, such as traditional jewelry, pottery, or textiles.

5 faq icon

Attend a Film Screening

Watch documentaries or films that focus on Native American history, issues, or stories. Many communities host special screenings for Native American Day, followed by discussions or Q&A sessions with filmmakers, historians, or community leaders.

6 faq icon

Volunteer for Native Land Conservation

Get involved in preserving the natural heritage by participating in conservation efforts on Native lands. This could include activities like planting native species, cleaning up natural sites, or working with organizations that focus on the protection of sacred spaces.

7 Interesting Facts About Native Americans


Sophisticated Civilizations Before Columbus

Long before the arrival of Europeans, the Americas were home to advanced civilizations such as the Maya, Aztec, and Inca. These cultures had complex social structures, built massive architectural structures, and made significant advancements in astronomy, mathematics, and agriculture.


Native American Code Talkers

During World Wars I and II, Native American soldiers were recruited by the U.S. military to use their native languages as unbreakable codes. The most famous were the Navajo Code Talkers, whose code was never broken by the Japanese during World War II and played a crucial role in American military communications.


Thousands of Indigenous Tribes

Before European contact, there were thousands of different tribes in what is now the United States alone, each with their own distinct languages, cultures, and social systems. There were possibly over 300 different languages spoken!


The Invention of Snow Goggles

The Inuit people invented snow goggles to prevent snow blindness. Made out of caribou antlers, wood, or bone, these goggles had narrow slits to look through, reducing exposure to the reflective snow and protecting the eyes from UV damage.


Immense Trade Networks

Long before Europeans arrived, Native Americans had established vast trade networks across the continent. These routes facilitated the exchange of goods such as furs, shells, foodstuffs, pigments, and jewelry, as well as ideas and cultural practices.


Contributions to Modern Medicine

Many Native American herbal remedies have been adopted into modern medicine. For instance, the use of willow bark for pain relief was the basis for the development of aspirin, one of the most widely used synthetic medications today.


Significance of the Corn Plant

Corn (maize) was domesticated by Indigenous peoples in Mexico over 9,000 years ago and became a staple crop for many Native American civilizations. The cultivation of corn fundamentally transformed societies, leading to settled agricultural life and the development of cities and civilizations.

Native American Day FAQs

Next Native American Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 September 22nd Friday
2024 September 27th Friday
2025 September 26th Friday
2026 September 25th Friday
2027 September 24th Friday
What is the pattern? Fourth Friday in September

Native American Day Word Search

  • Native
  • Tribe
  • Heritage
  • Tradition
  • Culture
  • Indigenous