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Oklahoma set to bring about a state holiday to honor Native Americans on the second Monday of each October, SB 1216

Please do your part in bringing about this holiday in Oklahoma, contact the governor and ask him to sign this bill into law.

1st Session of the 50th Legislature (2005)
HOUSE BILL  HB 1216: Smithson

An Act relating to holidays; amending 25 O.S. 2001, Section 82.2, which relates to designation of certain holidays; creating Native American Day; and providing an effective date.

SECTION 1.     AMENDATORY     25 O.S. 2001, Section 82.2, is amended to read as follows:

Section 82.2  The following additional days are designated as holidays:
Jefferson Day on the 13th day of April; Oklahoma Day on the 22nd day of April; Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May; Juneteenth National Freedom Day on the third Saturday in June; Indian Day on the first Saturday after the full moon in September; Cherokee Strip Day on the 16th day of September; Native American Day on the 2nd Monday in October; Will Rogers Day on the 4th day of November; Citizenship Recognition Day on such date as may be fixed by the Governor; Oklahoma Historical Day on the 10th day of October; Senior Citizens' Week beginning with the first Sunday in the month of May; Senior Citizens' Day the Wednesday of Senior Citizens' Week; Grandparents' Week beginning with the second Sunday in September; Youth Day on the third Sunday in March each year; each day in which a state election is held throughout the State of Oklahoma; and such other days as may be designated by the President of the United States or the Governor of the State of Oklahoma.  Notwithstanding the day designated for Veterans' Day by Section 82.1 of this title,

Any bank, savings and loan association or credit union may observe the fourth Monday in October as Veterans' Day.  Any act authorized, required or permitted to be performed on any holiday as designated in this section may and shall be performed on said day the same as on any business day; provided any state, national or federal reserve bank, building and loan association, credit union, state, federal, county or municipal office may close on any day designated in this section as a holiday, and, upon such bank, building and loan association, credit union, or public office being closed on such day, any act authorized, required or permitted to be performed at or by such bank, building and loan association, credit union, public office or public official may be performed on the next succeeding business day and no liability or loss of rights of any kind shall result
from such delay.
SECTION 2.  This act shall become effective October 1, 2005.

Push for a Native American Day in Oklahoma
State would become third to do so

An Oklahoma lawmaker has introduced a bill to declare Native American Day to be observed annually on the 2nd Monday in October.

Rep. Glen Bud Smithson, a Democrat from Sallisaw, has received praise for his authorship of the bill. Mike Graham, a member of the Cherokee Nation and the founder of United Native America (, said the move is long overdue.

“From our standpoint-Oklahoma has the largest Native American population in the country. Even on the license plates it says Oklahoma is Native America,” Graham told the Native American Times.

Smithson has already filed the legislation, House Bill 1216. If the law were enacted, Oklahoma would become just the second state to have a Native American Day as a state holiday. South Dakota established the holiday in 1989 to replace Columbus Day. Wyoming celebrates a similar holiday on the second Friday in May.

While Graham thinks there are multiple benefits to the holiday, he says two really stand out: tourism and education. Both are areas where the Sooner State lags behind the rest of the country.

“It would be a good deal for the school system. Kids could learn more about the tribal nations in their area of the state. It would be a major boost to the tourist industry,” he said.

Thousands attended South Dakota’s Native American Day celebrations last year.

Graham doesn’t want to stop at a state holiday. United Native America was originally founded in 1993 to push for a federal holiday, something Graham thinks will eventually happen.

“Some day people will wake up and see that Native Americans deserve their own holiday,” he said.



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