Indigenous Peoples Day

Indigenous Peoples Day Quick Facts

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2024 DateOctober 14, 2024
2025 DateOctober 13, 2025

Indigenous Peoples Day

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Indigenous Peoples Day History

Indigenous Peoples Day is aimed at honoring the rich history, cultures, and contributions of the Indigenous peoples across the Americas. This commemorative day serves as a counter-celebration to Columbus Day, intending to shed light on the historical truth and various experiences of Indigenous peoples.

The initial proposition to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day came from a delegation of Native nations to the United Nations-sponsored International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas in 1977. Since then, numerous states and municipalities across the United States have embraced the change, acknowledging the role of Indigenous peoples in the country's history and current society. This day is seen as a significant step towards acknowledging the brutal history tied to colonization and its devastating effects on Indigenous peoples.

Though Indigenous Peoples Day is not federally recognized, multiple municipalities and states across the U.S have adopted its observance. The day is celebrated with activities that might include traditional dance performances, art exhibitions, and educational events. Today, the holiday is celebrated on the same day as Columbus Day, which falls on the second Monday in October each year. Its specific purpose is to promote an accurate depiction of history, while also celebrating and respecting the diverse cultures and contributions of Indigenous peoples in America.

Indigenous Peoples Day facts

  • Nearly half of the U.S states received their names from Native American words. Utah, for example, comes from the Ute tribe.
  • Thousands of Native Americans served in World War I. In return, the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 was enacted, granting citizenship for Native Americans.
  • According to UNESCO, more than 2,680 indigenous languages are endangered and some are on the verge of extinction.
  • The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was adopted in 2007, recognizing their right to self-determination, to maintain their cultural traditions, and to their ancestral lands and resources.

Top things to do for Indigenous Peoples Day

  • Take the time to learn about Indigenous history, culture, and contributions. Read books, articles, or watch documentaries about Indigenous Peoples in America.
  • Take the time to reflect on your own biases and assumptions about Indigenous Peoples. Challenge stereotypes and misinformation, while promoting accurate and respectful representations of Indigenous cultures.
  • Explore recipes from different Indigenous cultures and prepare a meal using traditional ingredients and techniques.

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