More Communities Hope to Join South Dakota, Recognize Indigenous Peoples Day
For most Americans today is considered Columbus Day. The national holiday, officially instated in 1937, recognizes explorer Christopher Columbus's 1492 arrival to what are now known as the Americas.
But over the years more and more communities hope to ditch the holiday and join South Dakota by recognizing the Native American population instead.
South Dakota is one of just a few states that recognize the holiday as Native American Day. The state put the name change into effect in 1989 with a unanimous vote by the South Dakota legislature.
The year 1990 was coined the "Year of Reconciliation" between whites and Native Americans, with the holiday being celebrated every second Monday in October ever since. Tennessee, California and Vermont are other states who have a designated a holiday for Indigenous Peoples.
For decades, the conversation has grown over changing Columbus Day to a day that recognizes Native Americans. Since Columbus Day 2015, at least 14 communities in the U.S. have passed legislative measures to designate the day Indigenous Peoples Day.
The changes began in large cities such as Minneapolis, Seattle and Albuquerque. This year Phoenix, Denver and seven other cities celebrated their first official year with the new holiday, in order to recognize the suffering the indigenous population lived through during the American colonization.
More communities are expected to follow suit in preparation of next year's holiday.