Indigenous Peoples' Day is being officially celebrated across the United States instead of or in addition to Columbus Day on Monday. Many states have officially ditched Columbus Day while others are celebrating it along with Indigenous Peoples' Day to recognise the native populations that were displaced and decimated after Christopher Columbus and other European explorers reached the continent in the 15th century and later.
President Joe Biden issued a proclamation commemorating Indigenous Peoples' Day, becoming the first President of the country to do so. “On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, our Nation celebrates the invaluable contributions and resilience of Indigenous peoples, recognizes their inherent sovereignty, and commits to honoring the Federal Government’s trust and treaty obligations to Tribal Nations,” Biden said through the proclamation.
Many cities and states across the country are ditching the federal holiday celebrated in the name of Columbus.
Here are the states that celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead or with Columbus Day:
Alabama: The state of Alabama celebrates American Indian Heritage Day with Columbus Day.
Alaska: The State of Alaska observes Indigenous Peoples' Day since 2015 and it was made an official holiday in 2017.
Hawaii: Hawaii celebrates Discoverers' Day in place of Columbus Day. The holiday is celebrated as a day "in recognition of the Polynesian discoverers of the Hawaiian Islands."
Maine: The state of Maine observes Indigenous Peoples' Day since 2019.
Nebraska: The state of Nebraska has recoganised Indigenous Peoples' Day in addition to Columbus Day starting this year.
New Mexico: The state of New Mexico observes Indigenous Peoples' Day since the year 2019.
Oklahoma: In 2019, the state voted to move Native American Day to the same day as Columbus Day so the two are celebrated together.
Oregon: The state of Oregon passed a law in 2021 designating the second Monday in the month of October as Indigenous Peoples' Day.
South Dakota: The state has observed Native American Day since 1990.
Vermont: The state passed a law in 2019 replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day.