American Indian Day – September 22: History, Tradition & Celebrate

American Indian Day is a significant and culturally rich observance celebrated on September 22nd each year. 

American Indian Day is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Friday of November. It is a day to recognize and celebrate the contributions of American Indians to American culture and society.

American Indian Day has its roots in the early 1900s, when a group of Native Americans organized the Society of American Indians (SAI). The SAI was dedicated to promoting Native American culture and identity, and they played a key role in establishing American Indian Day as a national holiday.

The first American Indian Day was celebrated in 1914 in South Dakota. In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed the fourth Friday of November as American Indian Day. However, it was not until 1970 that Congress passed a resolution officially designating the day as a national holiday.

History of American Indian Day

American Indian Day traces its roots back to the early 20th century when it was first officially recognized. It was established to honor and acknowledge the contributions, cultures, and heritage of Native American tribes across the United States. The idea was to promote a better understanding of American Indian history and culture among the broader population.

Origins of American Indian Day

The origins of American Indian Day can be attributed to Dr. Arthur C. Parker, an accomplished archaeologist and historian of Seneca descent. In 1915, he advocated for a day dedicated to celebrating Native American heritage. His efforts bore fruit, and New York declared the first American Indian Day on the second Saturday in May.

How has American Indian Day changed over time?

Over the years, American Indian Day has evolved into a nationwide observance. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating September 22nd as a day of recognition for American Indians. This change aimed to make the observance more inclusive and accessible to people from all walks of life.

American Indian Day Traditions

How do American Indians celebrate American Indian Day?

American Indian Day is a time for Native American communities to showcase their diverse cultures, traditions, and artistic expressions. Powwows are common events during this period, where tribal members gather to dance, sing, and share their customs.

What are some common American Indian Day traditions?

Common traditions include traditional storytelling, craft exhibitions, feasting on indigenous cuisine, and ceremonies that honor ancestors. The regalia worn during celebrations is a beautiful representation of tribal heritage and identity.

Significance of American Indian Day

Why is American Indian Day an important holiday?

American Indian Day holds immense significance as it promotes cultural preservation and understanding. It provides an opportunity to rectify misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding Native American communities.

What does American Indian Day mean to American Indians and non-American Indians alike?

To American Indians, this day is a source of pride and a chance to reconnect with their roots. For non-American Indians, it’s an occasion to learn about and respect the indigenous cultures that have shaped the nation’s history.

How to Celebrate American Indian Day

Ways to celebrate American Indian Day as a non-American Indian

Educate Yourself:

Take the time to learn about the history and culture of Native American tribes. Visit museums, read books, or attend cultural events.

Support Indigenous Businesses:

Purchase authentic Native American products to support tribal economies.

Engage in Cultural Activities:

Attend powwows, cultural exhibitions, or workshops to immerse yourself in indigenous traditions.

How to support American Indian communities on American Indian Day and throughout the year

Donate to Charities:

Contribute to organizations that work to improve the lives of Native Americans, such as educational initiatives and healthcare programs.

Advocate for Indigenous Rights:

Raise awareness about issues affecting Native American communities and support initiatives that address these challenges.

Respect Tribal Lands:

If you visit tribal lands, always follow local rules and respect the environment and cultural sites.

American Indian Day Quotes, Wishes, and Messages

“On this American Indian Day, may we celebrate the richness of Native American cultures that have shaped our nation.”

“Let us honor the resilience and strength of Native American communities on this special day.”

“As we celebrate American Indian Day, let’s remember the wisdom passed down through generations.”

“May the spirit of unity and heritage shine brightly on American Indian Day.”

“Happy American Indian Day! Let’s cherish the diversity of indigenous cultures.”

“This American Indian Day, let’s build bridges of understanding and respect.”

“In celebrating American Indian Day, we celebrate the tapestry of our nation’s history.”

“May the traditions of American Indian Day inspire us to protect and preserve indigenous heritage.”

“Happy American Indian Day! Let’s appreciate the beauty of tribal traditions.”

“On this day, let’s commit to supporting Native American communities all year round.”

American Indian Day Dates

2022September 23Friday
2023September 22Friday
2024September 27Friday
2025September 26Friday
2026September 25Friday


What is American Indian Day?

American Indian Day is an observance that celebrates and honors the heritage, culture, and contributions of Native American tribes in the United States.

When is American Indian Day celebrated?

American Indian Day is celebrated on September 22nd each year.

Why is American Indian Day celebrated?

American Indian Day is celebrated to promote cultural understanding, acknowledge indigenous contributions, and honor the heritage of Native American communities.


American Indian Day, observed on September 22nd, is a day of cultural celebration and reflection. It has evolved over time to become an inclusive event that fosters a deeper appreciation for the rich heritage of Native American tribes. Whether you are of American Indian descent or not, you can actively participate in the festivities and support indigenous communities in various ways.

Celebrate American Indian Day by learning, respecting, and embracing the diverse cultures that have helped shape the United States. Let this day be a reminder of the importance of preserving and celebrating the traditions that make our nation truly unique.

Leave a Comment