These states and cities are ditching Columbus Day to observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead
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.
Michigan, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia are among the most recent states and areas to change the October holiday to “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” 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.
Here’s a list of states, cities and other local governments that have chosen to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, as well as some places that don’t observe the holiday at all.
Vermont: Observes Indigenous Peoples’ Day as of 2019
Though the state made the unofficial switch in 2016 through a gubernatorial proclamation, the legislature just passed a bill making the adoption of IPD official.
Maine: Observes Indigenous Peoples’ Day as of 2019
New Mexico: Observes Indigenous Peoples’ Day as of 2019
Alaska: Observes Indigenous Peoples’ Day as of 2017
Governor Bill Walker also signed observances of the holiday in 2015 and 2016 before making the switch official in 2017.
South Dakota: Observes Native American Day as of 1990
Oregon: Observes Indigenous Peoples’ Day as of 2017
Hawaii: Observes Discoverers’ Day in place of Columbus Day
Louisiana: Governor John Edwards announced the adoption of Indigenous Peoples’ Day in September, 2019
Michigan: On October 14th, 2019, Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared the day to be Indigenous People’s Day “to uplift our country’s indigenous roots, history, and contributions..”
Wisconsin: Governor Tony Evers established Indigenous People’s Day via an executive order days before the observance in 2019.
Washington, D.C.: The DC Council voted to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day a few days before the 2019 observance.
North Carolina: Governor Roy Cooper has made yearly proclamations designating the second Monday in October as Indigenous People’s Day.
Iowa: Iowa governor Kim Reynolds made a proclamation in 2018 designating Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Cities and counties
Note: Some of these places observe Indigenous People’s Day. Others do not observe Columbus Day, and still others partake in alternate observances.
Long Beach, California
Santa Cruz, California
San Fernando, California
San Luis Obispo, California
South Fulton, Georgia
Oak Park, Illinois
Ann Arbor, Michigan
East Lansing, Michigan
Traverse City, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota
Durham, New Hampshire
Newstead, New York
Ithaca, New York
Carrboro, North Carolina
Asheville, North Carolina
Cincinnati , Ohio
El Reno, Oklahoma
Bexar County, Texas
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia