Indigenous Peoples' Day
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Indigenous Peoples' Day

(CNN)Columbus Day has been a political lightning rod for states, cities and municipalities around the US for years now. Some have decided to do something about it.

Virginia is the latest state to officially observe "Indigenous Peoples' Day" instead, a holiday to recognize the native populations that were displaced and decimated after Christopher Columbus and other European explorers reached the continent.
Technically, Columbus Day is a federal holiday, which means it is recognized by the US government and thus brings the closure of non-essential government offices, and, usually, places like post offices and banks.

But states and local governments can choose not to observe a federal holiday. And, as is the case with a growing number of places, change the name and intent of the October holiday altogether.
Not listed here are more than 130 cities that have ditched Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples Day -- and the list grows yearly.
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(CNN)Columbus Day has been a political lightning rod for states, cities and municipalities around the US for years now. Some have decided to do something about it.

Virginia is the latest state to officially observe "Indigenous Peoples' Day" instead, a holiday to recognize the native populations that were displaced and decimated after Christopher Columbus and other European explorers reached the continent.
Technically, Columbus Day is a federal holiday, which means it is recognized by the US government and thus brings the closure of non-essential government offices, and, usually, places like post offices and banks.

But states and local governments can choose not to observe a federal holiday. And, as is the case with a growing number of places, change the name and intent of the October holiday altogether.
Not listed here are more than 130 cities that have ditched Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples Day -- and the list grows yearly.
Indigenous Peoples' Day[1] is a holiday that celebrates and honors Native American peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures. It is celebrated across the United States on the second Monday in October, and is an official city and state holiday in various localities. It began as a counter-celebration held on the same day as the U.S. federal holiday of Columbus Day, which honors Italian explorer Christopher Columbus. Many reject celebrating him, saying that he represents "the violent history of the colonization in the Western Hemisphere,"[2] and that Columbus Day is a sanitization or covering-up of Christopher Columbus' actions such as enslaving Native Americans.[3][4] Indigenous People’s Day was instituted in Berkeley, California, in 1992, to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Columbus in the Americas on October 12, 1492. Two years later, Santa Cruz, California, instituted the holiday.[5] Starting in 2014, many other cities and states adopted the holiday.[6]
Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day! On Monday, more states, cities, and communities than ever will observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day in place of or in addition to Columbus Day. They’re part of a larger movement to see a more complete and accurate history of the United States taught in our schools and public spaces. Given research showing that the majority of state and local curriculum standards end their study of Native American history before 1900, the importance of celebrating the survival and contemporary experience of Native peoples has never been clearer.
On Monday in the nation's capital, there is no Columbus Day. The D.C. Council voted to replace it with Indigenous Peoples' Day in a temporary move that it hopes to make permanent. Several other places across the United States have also made the switch in a growing movement to end the celebration of the Italian explorer in favor of honoring Indigenous communities and their resiliency in the face of violence by European explorers like Christopher Columbus.

Baley Champagne is responsible for that change in her home state of Louisiana. The tribal citizen of the United Houma Nation petitioned the governor, John Bel Edwards, to change the day. He did, along with several other states this year.
Since 1991, dozens of cities, several universities, and a growing number of states have adopted Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a holiday that celebrates the history and contributions of Native Americans. Not by coincidence, the occasion usually falls on Columbus Day, the second Monday in October, or replaces the holiday entirely. As of 2021, the holiday is observed or honored by the states of Virginia, Maine, New Mexico, Vermont, Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Wisconsin, as well as South Dakota, which celebrates Native Americans’ Day, and Hawaii, which celebrates Discoverers' Day. 

Why replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day? Activists have long argued that holidays, statues, and other memorials to Columbus sanitize his actions—which include the enslavement of Native Americans—while giving him credit for “discovering” a place where people already lived.
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