Indigenous Peoples’ Day


A holiday that began as a counter-celebration to Columbus Day has begun to spread across the nation by people wanting to promote Native American culture and commemorate the history of Native American peoples.

This year, two major U.S. cities — Minneapolis and Seattle — officially voted to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day.

The day began in Berkeley, Calif., and Denver, Colo., as a protest against Columbus Day, a federal holiday that is not observed as a state holiday in every state. The idea first arose in 1977 from the International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas, sponsored by the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The city of Berkeley symbolically renamed Columbus Day to “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” beginning in 1992 to protest the historical conquest of North America by Europeans, and to call attention to the demise of Native American people and culture through disease, warfare, massacre, and forced assimilation. The city has celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day ever since, including an annual powwow and festival on the day.

Four states do not celebrate Columbus Day (Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon and South Dakota) with South Dakota officially celebrating Native American Day instead. Various tribal governments in Oklahoma designate the day “Native American Day” or name the day after their own tribe. — Wikipedia

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