Juneteenth and Indigenous Peoples’ Day to be observed holidays beginning in 2022

Starting in 2022, King County government will observe two new paid holidays, Juneteenth and Indigenous Peoples’ Day, subject to available funding resources, bargaining, and potential impacts to existing county services.  

King County Council passed two Ordinances last year to establish Juneteenth (June 19) and Indigenous Peoples’ Day as paid holidays for King County employees eligible for leave benefits starting in 2022. The holidays are subject to available funding resources, bargaining, and potential impacts to existing county services. The Office of Equity and Social Justice is consulting with county employees who identify as Indigenous people and with tribes located within King County on whether October 12 is the preferred date for Indigenous Peoples’ Day or if there is a different, more appropriate date to designate Indigenous Peoples’ Day, such as the second Monday of October.  

These new holidays reflect our work to build a more racially just King County by honoring and strengthening our understanding of our history. They will be dedicated as days of service and learning, and provide an opportunity for us to deepen our knowledge about our nation’s history, Black and Indigenous heritage and culture, and the many ongoing contributions of Black and Indigenous people in our region. They will also help us sharpen our focus and commitment to undo the institutionalized racist practices and policies that harm Black, Indigenous, and People of Color today.    

Click here for information about the upcoming Juneteenth event on June 17 at 10 a.m. celebrating the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States and providing insights, education, and personal experiences from a historical and current day perspective. There will also be ongoing opportunities in 2021 and beyond to learn more about both Juneteenth and Indigenous Peoples’ Day and their significance to the history and experience of Black and Indigenous people, our nation, and our shared journey going forward.