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US marks Native American Day

US marks Native American Day
State of California will make day paid holiday for 1st time

By Darren Lyn

HOUSTON, United States (AA) - Native American Day is celebrating its 55th anniversary Friday and while it is not a national holiday in the US, the state of California is paying tribute to Native Americans by making it a paid holiday to court employees for the first time.

"Proud to celebrate the first paid California Native American Day for any court worker," tweeted state assemblyman James Ramos who made history as the first California Native American elected to the state assembly in 2018.

"There's never been a California Indian ever elected to the state legislature until I got elected and I'm Serrano and Cahuilla," Ramos said at a news conference.

"So, we're tackling all those voices for over 170 years of neglect now catching up to all those things that have been overlooked."

The history of Native Americans is filled with centuries of persecution, bloodshed and violence against Indian tribes which have had much of their ancestry destroyed or diluted as Native Americans have become integrated into modern society.

But communities across the US -- from Arizona to Oklahoma, from Wisconsin to South Dakota, from Nevada to Tennessee -- are holding celebrations so Native Americans do not lose their cultural roots and heritage.

California has the third-largest Native American population, behind Arizona and Oklahoma, with more than 285,000 citizens, according to the 2018 US census.

"On California Native American Day, we honor and celebrate the first peoples and nations of this place who have long stood as an example of the leadership, determination, ingenuity and empathy needed to face the existential challenges of climate change, cultural shifts and meeting the needs of diverse communities," said Governor Gavin Newsom in a proclamation letter.

Native American tribes in California include the Karok, Maidu, Cahuilleno, Mojave, Yokuts, Pomo, Paiute, Modoc, Wappo and Miwok.

The state wants to make sure that this segment of the population has the opportunity to remember and honor their ancestors' sacrifices.

"Let's not forget the resilience of our ancestors so that we can still be here today," said Ramos.

source: News Feed
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