The Movement For Indigenous Peoples' Day In the U.S., Columbus Day is a federal holiday in honor of the Italian navigator Christopher Columbus—and it's a day of Italian-American celebration. But not everyone is on board with celebrating Columbus. His colonization led to the bloodshed of Indigenous people and while he did arrive to the Americas, he never set foot in North America. Over the past few decades, there has been a growing movement to officially replace the holiday with a day of recognition for Indigenous people. Latino USA explores the movement to change the holiday, and pays a visit to one of the latest states to make Indigenous Peoples' Day official: Maine.
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The Movement For Indigenous Peoples’ Day

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The Movement For Indigenous Peoples' Day

The Movement For Indigenous Peoples' Day

The Movement For Indigenous Peoples’ Day

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/769923423/769925527" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Dancers from a school for indigenous students prepare to dance during an event celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day, Oct. 8, 2017 in Los Angeles. David McNew/Getty Images hide caption

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In the U.S., the second Monday in October is reserved for Columbus Day, in honor of the Italian navigator Christopher Columbus.

But not everyone is on board with celebrating Columbus. His colonization of the "new world" led to the bloodshed of Indigenous people and while he did arrive to the Americas, he never set foot in North America. So how did this federal holiday in the U.S. come to be?

Over the past few decades, there has been a growing local movement in cities and states throughout the country to officially replace the federal holiday of Columbus Day with a day of recognition for Indigenous people. The movement started in 1990, when South Dakota celebrated Native American Day for the first time.

"Indigenous Peoples' Day really opens up this opportunity for conversations and for visibility," says Elizabeth Ellis, assistant professor of early American and Native American history at New York University.

Latino USA explores the history of the U.S. holiday, the battle for change, and pays a visit to one of the latest states to make Indigenous Peoples' Day official: Maine.