Native American Day in California to be a paid holiday for first time

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) — Native American Day is observed in several states across the country. In California, the holiday falls on the fourth Friday of September. Sept. 23 will mark the first ever paid California Native American Day.

State Assemblymember James Ramos said it’s an opportunity for the state to join together in celebrating Native American culture.

“But also, let’s not forget the resilience of our ancestors so that we can still be here today,” Ramos said.

Not only will state employees have Native American Day as a paid holiday, but judicial court systems will also be closed for the day.

Ramos has been working to get a California Native American Day since 1998. As a member of the Serrano/Cahuilla tribe, he made history as the first California Native American to be elected to the California state assembly.

“There’s never been a California Indian ever elected to the state legislature until I got elected and I’m Serrano and Cahuilla,” Ramos said. “So, we’re tackling all those voices for over 170 years of neglect now catching up to all those things that have been overlooked.”

California Native American Day won’t create an additional paid holiday. Instead, it will be exchanged for Columbus Day.

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