How to Observe Indigenous Peoples' Day with Hourly Employees

Next Monday, Oct. 11 is Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a holiday that celebrates Native American peoples and their rich heritage. As companies continue to build stronger diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs, it's important to observe holidays honoring all cultures in the workplace. But thinking of ways to celebrate holidays with hourly employees can sometimes be easier said than done. That’s why we’ve put together a list of great ways to observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day with hourly employees.

Keep reading to learn more about how you can honor Indigenous Peoples’ Day at your company.

What is Indigenous Peoples’ Day?

Indigenous Peoples’ Day takes place annually on the second Monday in October which is the same day as Columbus Day. The holiday is a counter-celebration to Columbus Day to bring awareness to the violence and colonization brought on by Europeans’ conquest of North America. Indigenous Peoples’ Day was started in Berkeley, California in 1992, and many cities and states have adopted the holiday since then.

How to Observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day with Hourly Employees

Give employees the day off on Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

New Mexico, Maine, and Washington D.C. recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day and give workers a paid day off. South Dakota also gives employees a paid day off but calls the day Native American Day instead

Even if you don’t live in one of these areas, consider giving your hourly employees a paid day off to observe the holiday. Having the day free is a great opportunity for your employees to take a break from work to think critically about what Columbus Day actually means.

Donate to organizations that benefit the Native American community.

One of the easiest and most obvious ways to observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day is by donating to worthy causes that support the Native American community. Non-profit organizations like the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) or the Warrior Women Project are great places to make sizable donations to show your company’s commitment to supporting Native Americans. 

Your donation will convey to your workers that you’re dedicated to creating a more inclusive workplace.

Feature Native American employees on social media.

A great way to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day is by highlighting your Natvie American employees on social media. If your specific store or branch has its own social media accounts, post pictures of and quotes from Native American workers. 

Also, be sure to reach out to your corporate marketing team to see if they have a larger campaign in the works so you can get your employees involved! If your marketing team doesn’t have anything in mind, hopefully your suggestion can push them in the right direction.

Sometimes it can be tricky to think of ways to celebrate cultural holidays in an hourly workplace. We hope these ideas will give you the inspiration you need to build a tradition of celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day at your company.

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