Though the USA isn’t a very old country but it has many traditions and festive days devoted to its history. The Americans commemorate significant people of the country and even different ethnic groups. One of such festivities is Native Americans’ Day. It is celebrated only in three US states where people don’t have a day-off. It’s also celebrated on different dates every year but people make great festivals and parades. When is Native Americans’ Day in 2020? What do the people observe?

Backgrounds of the day

The holiday is rooted into the beginning of the 20th century. Some states of America celebrate the day in the end of September or in the beginning of October. It is a tradition to appreciate indigenous Americans. Centuries had passed since Columbus landed in the North America before the starting point of recognition of Indian Americans.

Native Americans' Day 2017

Dr. A. C. Parker was the initiator of the celebrations. He was an Indian himself though it didn’t interfere him with becoming a writer, an anthropologist and a historian. He represented the New York Museum of Arts and Science. The man was involved into the recognition of the traditions of indigenous people because his relative worked with President Grant in the direction of Indian Affairs.

The man founded the organization specialized on defending the rights of Indian people. The first remembrance of the day in New York was set in 1912–1915 in cooperation with the Boy Scouts. Then it was shifted to September, the 4st Friday. Three years later the tradition was caught up in Illinois. Other states didn’t show a desire of recognizing a value of Indians immediately. Massachusetts joined an annual celebrating tradition in 1935.

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If a person asks “What day Native Americans’ Day in 2020 ”, the answer will concern not days in May but in October. The change of the date was made in 1976 by President Ford’s decree. He made Native Americans’ Awareness Week. A whole month was highlighted for events concerning native nations’ recognition. Cultural, political and social contribution to a development of America was recognized at last.

South Dakota joined celebrations only 13 years later, in 1989. Local people used to celebrate Columbus Day. Since that time they have been commemorating the Native American’s Day. Berkley people celebrate the occasion in October, on the 2nd Monday. At first it was in 1992.

Later on California accepted a new state occasion. It was appointed on the 4th Saturday in September. Californians used to have a festival in the beginning of the 20th century, in 1914. The proposal of celebration was made by the nation of Blackfoots, Red Fox James. He tried to persuade the authorities of different states to admit the value and importance of indigenous Americans, their freedom and equality which had functioned many centuries before the USA formation. When is Native Americans’ Day 2020? The answer depends on the state.

Facts about Native Americans

The USA includes a majority of different nations. Each of them has its customs and traditions. Interesting customs have been developed. There’re many interesting facts concerning the native nations:

  • In the USA people use the term “American Indians” to denominate Indian tribes; in Canada they use “First Nations” for the same reason. The citizens of both countries use terms “indigenous” and “native” to express a generic assignment.
  • Christopher Columbus was the first to name the tribes “Indians”.
  • “Barbecue” was taken from the language of Native Americans. The word means “framework of sticks”.
  • Potato, tomato, poncho, cannibal, coyote and other native tribal words are widely used by the US citizens.
  • Missouri, Kentucky, Connecticut and Arizona took their names from the language of Native Americans.
  • South America is recognized to be a native land of different tribes many centuries ago. The official science admits their living on this territory more than 12 centuries B.C. There is a hypothesis that people lived in South America almost 30 thousand years ago.
  • Iroquois tribe had a tradition of celebrating a tricky holiday. Young people used to dance in front of the houses and get presents from owners of dwellings.
  • The US government officially recognizes 566 native tribes.
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California celebrates the holiday on the 4th Friday of September, Alaska and South Dakota commemorate indigenous people in October, every 2nd Monday.  So, the question “What is the date of Native Americans’ Day 2020” will get different answers. In this year it is on 12th of October.

How do people note the occasion

The customs and traditions are various. During the Native Americans’ Day people try to commemorate some of them by making festivals, contests. There’re some rituals that are usually held:

  • Native dishes usually include corn and fry bread, berries and meat. Festive cuisine includes different meals.
  • The tribal representatives have a tradition of storytelling. During the past centuries people used to retell the stories of their ancestors.
  • Various dancing contests take place on the day. People recollect their original dances which were used to provide a religious ceremony, to bring happiness and good life. They were obligatory to celebrate the beginning of harvest time.
  • Traditional occasion of the holiday is a “pow wow”. It was a meeting of native people with songs and dances. The European visitors didn’t identify the religious value of that event as it was at the reality.

During the day authentic markets are held throughout the states. People can buy pieces of handicrafts there. The ceremony of celebrating usually starts from welcoming the Sun on a beach of a city. Parades and performances are also popular during the date. You can watch the events on September 22nd or October 12th  depending on the state. People can define the schedule more exactly asking the internet “When is Native Americans’ Day in 2020, calendar of events”.


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