While indigenous or native cultures and communities are celebrated on different days in different countries, the second Monday in October is honored as Indigenous Peoples Day in the United States. The occasion has received recognition from various groups since 1977; however, it wasn't until 2021 that it officially became recognized as a day of public observation by the United States government.
This day coincides with Columbus Day to acknowledge the inhabitants of the Americas prior to Christopher Columbus' arrival, to raise awareness of the historical and current experiences of American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians, and to honor these communities' substantial and ongoing contributions.
There are many ways to observe Indigenous Peoples' Day. Many organizations and local groups host community events with guest speakers to discuss the history of different tribes and cultures in the Americas, as well as obstacles faced by native communities and tribal nations, such as food and water justice and land acknowledgements. Other organizations may share insights and perspectives on specific topics, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website about the significant contributions American Indians and Alaska Natives have made and continue to make to public health.
Additional ways to observe Indigenous Peoples' Day may include learning about native plants, cuisine, arts and culture.
Throughout the month of November, events promoting Native American Heritage Month also offer opportunities to learn more about the histories, cultures and contributions of Native Americans.
For more information on Indigenous Peoples' Day or Native American Heritage Month, visit:
- National Endowment for the Humanities — Teacher's Guide: American Indian History and Heritage
- National Institutes of Health, Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
- National Museum of the American Indian
- National Park Service — Native American Heritage Month
- The Library of Congress — Native American Heritage Month
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health
Recommended Native American health, wellness and nutrition websites:
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Tribal Relations
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Find a Nutrition Expert
Looking for credible nutrition information and recommendations? The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' network of credentialed food and nutrition practitioners are ready to help!