March 05, 2008

First paid Native holiday?

Thurston County holiday recognizes Native American contributionsThe Thurston County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to recognize the fourth Monday in September as Native American Day.

That’s the same date the state of Nebraska celebrates Native American Day, though the state celebration is not a paid holiday for state employees.

Larry Dix, executive director of the Nebraska Association of County Officials, said he knew of no county in Nebraska that sponsors a paid holiday beyond the usual state and federal holidays.

He said that’s in part because county governments are considered extensions of state government. It’s also because of the cost involved in sponsoring a paid holiday, Dix said.

“It would be a taxpayer expense,” he said.

Thurston County board member Darren Wolfe said he thinks the board’s decision makes his county the first in the nation to sponsor a paid holiday recognizing Native people.

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