Timeline of support for Indigenous Peoples' Day

Last updated

This page is a timeline for when various municipalities, universities, and states in the United States have officially recognized Indigenous Peoples' Day.




  • The International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas, sponsored by the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, began to discuss replacing Columbus Day in the United States with a celebration to be known as Indigenous Peoples' Day. [1]



  • At the First Continental Conference on 500 Years of Indian Resistance in Quito, Ecuador, representatives of Indian groups throughout the Americas agreed that they would mark 1992, the 500th anniversary of the first of the voyages of Christopher Columbus, as a year to promote "continental unity" and "liberation." [3]


  • The city council of Berkeley, California, declared October 12 as a "Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People", and 1992 the "Year of Indigenous People". The city implemented related programs in schools, libraries, and museums. The city symbolically renamed Columbus Day as "Indigenous Peoples' Day" beginning in 1992 [4] to protest the historical conquest of North America by Europeans, and to call attention to the losses suffered by the Native American peoples and their cultures [5] through diseases, warfare, massacres, and forced assimilation.



  • Red Wing, Minnesota, replaced Columbus Day with Chief Red Wing Day to honor the city's namesake, Hupaha-duta, the Dakota leader known in English as "Red Wing". [9]


  • The City Commission of Traverse City, Michigan, passed a resolution recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day. [20]
  • The Town of Newstead and the Village of Akron, New York, and the Akron Central School District, voted to celebrate Indigenous People's Day on Columbus Day. [21]
  • The City Council of St. Paul, Minnesota, unanimously passed a resolution recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day in place of Columbus Day. [22]
  • The City of Olympia, Washington, officially declared the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day to honor the area’s Native American heritage. [23]
  • The Town and Village of Lewiston, New York, declared the second Monday of October, Indigenous Peoples' Day, on September 28 and October 5, 2015, respectively. [24]
  • The Mayor of the City of Anadarko, Oklahoma signed the Indigenous Peoples’ Day proclamation, while surrounded by members and tribal leaders from the Apache, Choctaw, Delaware, Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, recognizing the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. [25]
  • The city of San Fernando, California, passed a resolution recognizing Indigenous Peoples' Day. [31] The City of San Fernando may be the first city in Los Angeles County to recognize this day. [32]
  • On December 15, the City Council of Belfast, Maine approved the renaming of Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples' Day. [33]


  • The City Council of Durango, Colorado unanimously voted to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day on the second Monday of October. [45]
  • The student body of the University of Utah voted unanimously to support the replacement of the annual "Columbus Day" holiday to "Indigenous Peoples' Day". [47]
  • The faculty of Brown University voted to designate the second Monday of October as "Indigenous Peoples' Day". [48]
  • The City Council of Eugene, Oregon voted unanimously to approve a resolution declaring the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. [49]
  • The City of Cambridge, Massachusetts voted unanimously (9-0) to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day. [50] The Massachusetts communities of Amherst and Northampton, by the time early October 2016 arrived, had joined Cambridge in similarly re-naming the early October date. [51]
  • The East Lansing, Michigan city council voted unanimously without discussion to declare the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples' Day. [55]
The Council of Santa Fe, New Mexico unanimously (8-0) approved a resolution declaring the second Monday in October, or what traditionally is Columbus Day, as Indigenous Peoples' Day in Santa Fe. [56]
  • The Denver City Council unanimously (12-0) approved a resolution permanently recognizing Indigenous Peoples' Day on the second Monday of October. [57]
  • The City Council of Phoenix, Arizona voted unanimously (9-0) to recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day annually on Columbus Day. It was the largest US city to take such action. [59]
  • Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed a proclamation declaring that October 10, 2016 will be observed as Indigenous People's Day in the state. The statement also acknowledges that the state was founded and built upon lands first inhabited by indigenous peoples. [60]
  • Mayor Gregory F. Vaughn of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia signed a proclamation introduced to the Town Council by Recorder Kevin Carden declaring that day, and the second Monday of each subsequent October, to be called Indigenous Peoples' Day in the town. [61]


  • At a town meeting in Starks, Maine, an Indigenous Peoples' Day proposal was approved, 32-2, replacing Columbus Day observances. [90]
  • On August 21, Oberlin, Ohio officially approved the change to Indigenous Peoples' Day. [91]
  • As of August 30, the Los Angeles City Council authorized the celebration of Indigenous Peoples' Day in place of Columbus Day. [93]
  • On September 11, Orono became the third city in Maine to adopt Indigenous Peoples' Day. [94]
  • On September 18, both Brunswick and Portland in Maine adopted the change to Indigenous Peoples Day. [95] [96]


  • A House Bill was introduced in the legislature of the State of New Hampshire that would rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day statewide. [125]
  • School board officials in Southampton, New York voted to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day on all school calendars. [126]
  • The City Council of Flagstaff, Arizona unanimously passed a resolution which renamed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day in addition to committing city resources to combating racism against Native Americans. [129]






  1. The City of Long Beach does not actually observe the holiday by closing its offices, or giving its employees paid time off; nor does it encourage private businesses to close in observation.
  2. The State of California does not actually observe the holiday by closing its offices, or giving its employees paid time off; nor does it encourage private businesses to close in observation.

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