Native American Heritage Day

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Native American Heritage Day
Observed by United States of America
Type Historical
Significance A day in honor of Native Americans
Date Day after U.S. Thanksgiving
2020 date November 27  (2020-11-27)
2021 date November 26  (2021-11-26)
2022 date November 25  (2022-11-25)
2023 date November 24  (2023-11-24)
Frequency annual

Native American Heritage Day is a civil holiday observed on the day after Thanksgiving in the United States.

National legislative history

President George W. Bush signed into law legislation introduced by Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto), to designate the Friday after Thanksgiving as Native American Heritage Day. The Native American Heritage Day Bill[1] was supported by the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) and 184 federally recognized tribes, and designates Friday, November 28, 2008, as a day to pay tribute to Native Americans for their many contributions to the United States.

The Native American Heritage Day Bill encourages Americans of all backgrounds to observe Friday, November 28, 2008, as Native American Heritage Day, through appropriate ceremonies and activities. It also encourages public elementary and secondary schools to enhance student understanding of Native Americans by providing classroom instructions focusing on their history, achievements, and contributions.

The House of Representatives originally passed H.J. Res. 62 on November 13, 2007. The bill was passed with technical adjustments by unanimous consent in the United States Senate on September 22, 2008. Then, on September 26, 2008, the House of Representatives unanimously voted to pass the legislation again, this time including the adjustments from the Senate. The legislation was signed into public law by the President on October 8, 2008.

Some individual states have also taken legislative action to recognize this day. For example, Maryland established this day in 2008 under the name American Indian Heritage Day.[2]


  1. House Joint Resolution 62, Native American Heritage Day Act of 2008.
  2. Maryland Laws 2008, Chapter 486, State Holiday -American Indian Heritage Day.