Honoring U.S. Indigenous Peoples’ Day

What is it and How Can You Learn More

What is U.S. Indigenous Peoples’ Day?

U.S. Indigenous Peoples’ Day is celebrated on the second Monday of October to honor the cultures and histories of the Native American people. Indigenous Peoples’ Day honors the past, present, and futures of Native peoples across the country. The ancestors of living Native Americans arrived in what is now the United States at least 15,000 years ago, possibly much earlier, from Asia via Beringia.

According to the NY Department of Environmental Conservation, many Indigenous people (Native Americans) live in NY and are citizens of the following nine state recognized nations: Cayuga Nation, Oneida Indian Nation, Onondaga Nation, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, Seneca Nation of Indians, Allegany Reservation, Cattaraugus Reservation, Shinnecock Indian Nation, Tonawanda Seneca Nation, Tuscarora Nation and Unkechaug Indian Nation. Other Indian Nations that were located within New York State in the past and maintain ties to the area are federally recognized nations and include Delaware Nation (Oklahoma), Delaware Tribe of Indians (Oklahoma), and Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohican Nation of Wisconsin. Others include the Ramapough Lenape and Montaukett, that live in New York or surrounding states.

On Indigenous People’s Day, we recognize the history and impact of colonialism on Native communities, and we celebrate the cultures, contributions, and resilience of contemporary Native peoples. More than a dozen states and the District of Columbia now recognize Indigenous Peoples Day. Those states include Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

How can you become an ally of Indigenous peoples?

Reading Suggestions:

Books to Read in Honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Check out this article on 10 Ways to be an Ally to Indigenous Peoples and take action!

Recommended videos:

New York’s Native American History Smithsonian Magazine
Native American Indians in NY
Native Americans return to NY
The Native Peoples of NY

Volunteer Opportunities:

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development