Celebrating the Second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day

Published on Oct 08, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. | Though many continue to call it Columbus Day, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) again proudly joins the growing number of tribal nations, states, counties, cities, and school districts that are instead celebrating the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples Day. In so doing, we honor the enduring social, cultural, and political survivance of tribal nations that authored the original story of America.

“Long before Christopher Columbus stumbled upon what he thought was ‘India,’ the First Americans sustained thriving societies across this country,” said NCAI President Jefferson Keel. “As we bring more awareness to this holiday, it is equally important to congratulate those who have risen to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day by acknowledging the rich histories, vibrant cultures, and resilience of contemporary tribal nations and peoples. Today is a day in which we all come together to respect our histories and unique heritage.”

The first peoples whose cultures and inherent governance structures predate the United States government enjoy an unique political relationship with the federal government. NCAI is grateful to those who uplift our stories by supporting and recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day. Through education, outreach, and political engagement we can make a difference. We can re-author our histories, take control of our futures and grow the modern tribal governments entrusted to represent their peoples’ interests alongside federal, state, and local governments.  

In 2011, NCAI passed a resolution advocating for the renaming of the second Monday of October to Indigenous People Day. NCAI has seen a ground-swell of support encouraged by the resolution. Join NCAI in the movement to change the second Monday in October to Indigenous Peoples Day by educating friends and family and contacting your school boards, city councils, mayors, state legislators, governors, and members of Congress.


About the National Congress of American Indians:
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information, visit www.ncai.org.


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