January 29, 2018
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation is formally recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day as an officially observed tribal holiday beginning in October 2018.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day will be recognized annually on the second Monday in October under the updated Cherokee Nation policy recently approved by Principal Chief Bill John Baker.
“My hope is that by formally recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day as an observed Cherokee Nation holiday, we will encourage people to learn about and respect Native contributions to American history, our country and the state of Oklahoma,” Baker said.
In recognition of the holiday, all Cherokee Nation government offices will be closed on Indigenous Peoples’ Day and employees will be granted one day of paid administrative leave. The holiday will be observed in lieu of Presidents’ Day in February.
“As a tribal government, it makes more sense for us to celebrate Native people and culture in October instead of a day set aside for presidents, including Andrew Jackson, whose legacy of genocide should never be celebrated,” Baker said.
Earlier this year, Baker also signed an executive order declaring Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an official Cherokee Nation holiday for the first time ever.