Updated: Oct 21
Do you wonder if Columbus Day is a real holiday or why is it Indigenous Peoples Day? I did so, I did some research..
Indigenous Peoples' Day is a holiday celebrated in various parts of the United States and other countries. It is observed on the second Monday in October. Although the day was still considered Columbus Day, many people began calling it Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Indigenous Peoples' Day is intended to honor and recognize the history, culture, resilience, and contributions of Indigenous peoples in the Americas.
While Columbus Day has long been a federal holiday since 1937 in the United States, it has also been criticized for glorifying the colonization and mistreatment of Indigenous peoples. In response, many communities and states have adopted Indigenous Peoples' Day.
The first seed of Indigenous Peoples’ Day was planted at a U.N. international conference on discrimination in 1977.
South Dakota became the first state to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in 1989.
On October 14, 2019, Gavin Newsom, Governor of the State of California, proclaimed “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”
"Today, we also honor the local leaders from around California who were decades ahead of us in commemorating Indigenous Peoples’ Day. We remember the protests throughout Northern California against the activities to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas, as well as the “Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People” first celebrated in Berkeley in 1992.
We remain inspired by all those who have fought for the respect and visibility of indigenous peoples, including the Occupation of Alcatraz Island that took place fifty years ago. We continue to celebrate the Native American communities who exemplify the best of who we are – and who we can be – as Californians."
Columbus, Ohio, no longer observes its namesake’s holiday, renaming it Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 2020.
In 2021, Oregon marked its first statewide recognition of Indigenous Peoples' Day, in lieu of Columbus Day.
In 2021, President Biden became the first U.S. president to formally recognize the holiday.
2023 President Biden issued a proclamation to observe Monday, Oct. 9, as a day to honor Native Americans, their "resilience, strength, and perseverance" and "determination to preserve cultures, identities, and ways of life," even as they have faced "violence and devastation," he said.
Year by year, the movement to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day spreads to more and more states, towns, and cities across the United States of America.
Today, more than 12 U.S. states and over 100 cities celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day, with many of them replacing the holiday honoring Christopher Columbus.
Only 16 states and the territory of American Samoa still observe it as an official public holiday exclusively called Columbus Day.
Although Columbus Day has been a federal holiday many states do not honor the practice of a paid day off for workers or even recognize the day as a holiday.