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​National Day of Mourning

On National Day of Mourning, let us honor and remember the resilience of Native Americans and their contributions to our country.
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Introduction

Join us in honoring the National Day of Mourning (Native American) on the fourth Thursday of November. This day is a time to reflect, remember and mourn the tragic history of Native Americans in the United States. It's an opportunity to honor those who have been lost to genocide, colonialism and oppression. The day has been marked since 1970 when a group of Wampanoag Indians gathered at Plymouth Rock to protest the US celebration of Thanksgiving. Since then, this day has become an important symbol for Native American people around the country as they come together in solidarity and remembrance.

History of ​National Day of Mourning

​National Day of Mourning Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1970</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Day of Mourning Origins</div><div class='timeline-text'>The National Day of Mourning was initiated by a group of Wampanoag Indians at Plymouth Rock as a counter-celebration to the American Thanksgiving holiday.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1978</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>American Indian Religious Freedom Act</div><div class='timeline-text'>This Act was passed to protect and preserve for American Indians their inherent right to believe, express and exercise their traditional religions.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1990</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act</div><div class='timeline-text'>This Act was passed to ensure the rights of Native American tribes to their human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2000</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Day of Mourning Protests</div><div class='timeline-text'>At the turn of the 21st century, The National Day of Mourning took root as a figurehead for protest and advocacy for Native American rights and recognition.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2016</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Standing Rock Protests</div><div class='timeline-text'>The Day of Mourning was highlighted in light of the Standing Rock protests, which aimed to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline across sacred Native American lands.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate ​National Day of Mourning

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Attend a local event</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Many Native American tribes will be holding events in honor of National Day of Mourning. Attend one of these events and take part in the ceremony, such as a prayer or lighting of candles.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Educate yourself</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Take the time to learn more about the history and culture of Native Americans and how their lives have been impacted by colonization. Read books, watch documentaries, and attend lectures.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Donate to a Native American charity</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Find a Native American charity that is working to address the challenges faced by many Indigenous people today. Your donation can help them continue their work and make a difference.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Fly the Native American flag</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Fly the Native American flag at your home or workplace to show your support for indigenous populations. You can also encourage others to do the same.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Visit a sacred site</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Find a sacred site near you and spend some time there in meditation or prayer. This is a good way to honor the history and culture of Native Americans and pay your respects.</p></div></div>

Why ​National Day of Mourning is Important

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It recognizes the genocide of Native Americans</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>The Day of Mourning recognizes and remembers the genocide of Native Americans that began with Columbus' arrival in 1492. It serves as a reminder that colonization has had a devastating effect on native communities and cultures, and highlights the injustices that have been done to these peoples over time.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It brings attention to current issues</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>The Day of Mourning also raises awareness of the current challenges faced by Native American communities. From rising unemployment rates to lack of healthcare access, this day is an important reminder that there is still work to be done in order to ensure equal rights and opportunities forAll.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It honors the contributions of Indigenous people</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>In addition to recognizing the suffering endured by Native Americans, National Day of Mourning also honors their immense contributions to our society. From inventing intricate languages to introducing us to amazing forms of art and literature, Native Americans have enriched our lives in countless ways - and this day allows us to thank them for all they have done.</p></div></div>

5 Solemn Facts for National Day of Mourning

​National Day of Mourning FAQs

When is ​National Day of Mourning?

​National Day of Mourning Dates

Year
Date
Day

2023

Nov 23

Thursday

2024

Nov 28

Thursday

2025

Nov 27

Thursday

2026

Nov 26

Thursday

2027

Nov 25

Thursday

Cause Holidays