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25 Cities Abolish Columbus Day and Adopt Indigenous People Day Instead

Denver’s move comes two months after Boulder’s city council declared that Indigenous Peoples’ Day will be celebrated on every Columbus Day holiday.

But the push to rename the Columbus holiday is being turned back in some areas: This week, the Cincinnati City Council rejected an Indigenous Peoples’ Day proclamation, for instance.

Although Columbus Day has been a federal holiday since the 1930s, more than half of U.S. states don’t mandate a paid day off for the holiday. As of 2015, only 23 states gave employees a paid day off for the day.

For years, only one state — South Dakota — officially designated the second Monday in October to honor the people and cultures that thrived in North America before Europeans’ arrival.

Alaska’s governor adopted Indigenous Peoples Day last year; we’ll note that the state, like Hawaii and Oregon, had previously not recognized Columbus Day.

As of this week, Vermont also recognizes the second Monday of October as Indigenous People’s Day, after Gov. Peter Shumlin issued an executive proclamation. In it, Shumlin noted that Vermont was founded on land that was long inhabited by the Abenaki people.
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