Indigenous Peoples Day, observed annually on the same day as Columbus Day, i.e., the second Monday of October, aims to recognize this community's enormous contributions. Indigenous Peoples Day is a national holiday held on the second Monday of October (October 10, 2022, this year) to honor America's indigenous people.
Although the holiday has already been recognized in some cities and states over the years, US President Joe Biden formally declared it as a federal holiday last year, in 2021. At the time, President Biden said:
“We must never forget the centuries-long campaign of violence, displacement, assimilation, and terror wrought upon Native communities and tribal nations throughout our country.”
He also emphasized Native Americans' resilience and their immense contributions to the world. Let's take a deep dive into some quick facts about this day.
Indigenous Peoples Day 2022: Some quick facts to know
Indigenous Peoples Day 2022, which is being celebrated on October 10, 2022, is being marked as a federal holiday throughout the country, after Biden’s announcement last year. Vice President Kamala Harris also shared her thoughts on the day today on Twitter, and said:
"On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we pay respect to Tribal Nations and indigenous history. Today and every day, let us continue to celebrate and uplift the rich contributions of Indigenous peoples—their leadership has made our country stronger."
As a result, many businesses, including banks, the US Postal Service, and city offices, will be closed today. Despite the national holiday, DMV and state court offices, the New York Stock Exchange, and Hennepin and Ramsey County offices will remain open as usual.
Meanwhile, all restaurants, theaters, and malls will be open at the usual hours. However, some establishments may close in order to observe the holiday. As a result, it is advised that visitors call ahead to these locations before visiting. National parks, grocery stores, and department stores, on the other hand, will remain open today.
Many states were already observing this as a day to remember and honor these legends before President Biden declared it a federal holiday.
When it comes to the history of Indigenous Peoples Day, few people realize that South Dakota was the first state to officially recognize the day in 1990, while the rest of the states took more than 20 years to join in, as most states observed this as a holiday after 2015.
Many people believe that changing Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day will encourage young Navajos to be proud of their homeland and people.
Having said that, some states have their own versions of the day. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin are just a few of them.
However, some states, such as Oklahoma, continue to celebrate Columbus Day rather than Indigenous Peoples Day.
Some states, such as California, observe this day in September rather than October 10th. Furthermore, the USA is not the only country to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day. Canada has been recognizing this day since June 21 1996.