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.
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References and related siteswww.history.com: History of Indigenous Peoples' Day www.census.gov: Native American Day