How Columbus Day became Indigenous Peoples Day in over 130 US cities

How Columbus Day became Indigenous Peoples Day in over 130 US cities


It took Christopher Columbus about nine weeks to reach the New World from Spain — and his critics more than half a century to start convincing US cities to ditch the holiday honoring the moment.

In 1992, Berkeley, Calif., became the first city to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day — and now, nearly 30 years later, there are more than 130 cities and 15 states that have either followed suit or chosen to mark both.

“It’s become a trend,” said Baley Champagne, a tribal citizen of the United Houma Nation, to NPR last year, after successfully lobbying Louisiana’s governor to make the switch to Indigenous Peoples Day.

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“We’re bringing awareness that we’re not going to allow someone like that to be glorified into a hero because of the hurt that he caused to indigenous people of America,’’ she said of Columbus. “I think it’s long overdue.’’

Shannon Speed, a Chickasaw Nation citizen and director of UCLA’s American

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