News Release

24th Navajo Nation Council - Office of the Speaker

On Friday, the 24th Navajo Nation Council and the Legislative Branch acknowledge President Joseph R. Biden’s declaration of Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in Texas and the United States as established by the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act.

“Juneteenth was not only a monumental event in the history of our Black brothers and sisters but made way for Indigenous peoples to obtain our rights as well,” said Speaker Seth Damon (Bááhaalí, Chichiltah, Manuelito, Red Rock, Rock Springs, Tséyatoh). “Today we acknowledge our shared experiences and the many achievements fought for by brave individuals throughout history.”

The name of the holiday is a combination of June and the number nineteen (19), but has become known as “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day” and commemorates its first observance on June 19, 1865. 

“Great nations don’t ignore the most painful moments. They don’t ignore those moments in the past. They embrace them,” said Biden during the signing in the East Room of the White House.

In observance of the Juneteenth holiday, the Legislative Branch granted its employees and temporary employees four (4) hours of administrative leave, beginning on Friday, June 18, 2021, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Office of the Speaker wished the Navajo Nation a safe and productive holiday. 

24th Navajo Nation Council - banner logo 2020