News Release

California Courts to Honor California Native American Day

State judicial branch, local court employees will be first public workers to celebrate “California Native American Day” as an official holiday.
Sep 22, 2022

This Friday, state judicial branch and local court employees will be the first public workers to celebrate “California Native American Day” as an official holiday.

California Native American Day became an official judicial holiday thanks to AB 855, authored by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) and co-sponsored by the Judicial Council of California.

The legislation did not create an additional paid holiday for judicial branch employees, but exchanged Columbus Day for California Native American Day, which will be celebrated yearly by judicial employees on the fourth Friday in September.

Said California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye:

“This coming Friday, Sept. 23, will be a firsta newly celebrated judicial branch holiday, our California Native American Day. The Judicial Council was proud to sponsor this landmark legislation authored by Assemblymember James Ramos last year. By honoring California Native American Day, we properly recognize the contributions and history of our state’s First People. The important day marks another step in our mission in the judiciary to provide equal access and fairness throughout our justice systemone in which all Californians feel welcome and are represented.” 

Watch the Chief Justice's remarks at this week's Judicial Council meeting:

Said Chief Judge Abby Abinanti, Yurok Tribe member and co-chair of the Judicial Council’s Tribal Court-State Court Forum:

“California courts continue to lead the country's recognition efforts, as we work to heal the breach with those of us whose systems were so impacted in the development of the current institutions. We, as Tribes, are working to assist the "newer" systems learn the ways of this land/people to move forward in a healing fashion as justice systems.”

Said Assemblymember Ramos:

“I have been working on the idea of a California Native American Day since 1998. I am excited that it can be a paid holiday for the state’s courts and the judicial branch. It is time to expand the celebration of this day that recognizes the presence, history and culture of California’s First People while also acknowledging a painful past. A paid holiday adds additional state emphasis to this commemoration. I was gratified as the first California Native American legislator in 172 years that California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and the Judicial Council chose to lead by example and sponsor my 2021 bill. I applaud their forward-looking move on behalf of inclusiveness as well that of my legislative colleagues and the governor.”