Friday — September 23, 2022

California Native American Day - A Brief History

by: Cesar J Segura

Created into law in 1998, California Native American Day is a day to celebrate and educate others on Native American culture. Though many states now celebrate a similar day honoring Native American culture, California was the first state to have in recognition Native American culture in 1939. Originally known as “Indian Day”, October 1st was declared by then Governor Culbert Olson in 1939. Eventually, the date was changed from October 1st to the Fourth Friday in September by Governor Ronald Reagan in 1968. Ultimately in 1998, the California Assembly passed Assembly Bill 1953 legally designating Native American Day as an official state holiday to be celebrated on the Fourth Friday of every September. Further legislation in 2021 made Native American Day a Judicial holiday for the state!

The goal of California Native American Day is to provide appreciation and awareness of the Native American people who have been residents of what is now California since time immemorial. So today, the Fourth Friday of September, celebrate and honor the Native American culture and traditions.