About National Native American Heritage Day
Native American Heritage Day, signed into law in 2008, takes place the day after Thanksgiving and honors Native Americans across the nation. The day celebrates the vibrant cultures, traditions, and heritages while recognizing the many contributions Native Americans have made.
When signing the day into law, President Barack Obama said, “I encourage every American to join me in observing Native American Heritage Day... It is also important for all of us to understand the rich culture, tradition, and history of Native Americans and their status today and to appreciate the contributions that First Americans have made and will continue to make to our Nation.”
Facts and Figures
- The nation’s American Indian and Alaska Native population was 6.9 million in 2018, including those of more than one race.
Source: Vintage 2018 Population Estimates
- The were 324 distinct federally recognized American Indian reservations in 2018, including federal reservations and off-reservation trust land.
Source: U.S. Gazetteer Files
- There were 573 federally recognized Indian tribes in 2018.
Source: Bureau of Indian Affairs, 2019
- There were 141,438 single-race American Indian and Alaska Native veterans of the U.S. armed forces in 2018.
Source: 2018 American Community Survey