AACAP Honors Indigenous Peoples’ Day - October 9, 2023

“Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.” – Sitting Bull

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) honors October 9, 2023, as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. This observance is more than just a nod to history, it's an affirmation of the traditions, cultures, and enduring spirit of Indigenous peoples and communities, emphasizing the importance of correcting historical narratives and acknowledging the injustices inflicted upon Indigenous peoples.

President Joe Biden’s 2021 inaugural Proclamation on Indigenous Peoples Day celebrated the vast array of cultures, beliefs, and traditions of the Native Hawaiian, Alaska Native, and American Indian Tribal Nations, as well as their lands, inherent sovereignty, and communities. It underscored their resilience and significant contributions despite forced dispossession and deliberate colonization. However, as we commemorate this vital day, we must also confront the ongoing challenges Indigenous communities face, including racism, intergenerational trauma, suicide, poverty, and broad disparities in access to care and health outcomes.

As the leading authority on child and adolescent mental health, AACAP's unwavering commitment is centered on the unique needs of Indigenous youth with our dedication to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. The CAPture Belonging Presidential Initiative further underscores our mission, leveraging our expertise to diversify the workforce, enhance health equity, champion social justice, and improve outcomes for all youth and families.

On this Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and every day, AACAP stands resolutely with our Indigenous communities. We are unwavering in our pursuit to provide every child and adolescent, irrespective of their background, with the highest quality of mental health care, always emphasizing respect, understanding, and human dignity. Today, we express our deep appreciation for the legacy of Indigenous peoples in our nation's story and honor America’s first inhabitants.

"There can never be peace between nations until it is first known that true peace is within the souls of men.” Native American Proverb, Oglala Sioux


The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is a national professional medical association dedicated to promoting the healthy development of children, adolescents, and families. With a membership of over 10,000 professionals, AACAP provides valuable resources, expertise, and advocacy to advance the field of child and adolescent psychiatry and improve mental health care for young people. For more information, please visit www.aacap.org