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These states and cities are ditching Columbus Day to observe Indigenous Peoples' Day instead

Posted at 7:47 AM, Oct 14, 2019

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.

Flagstaff, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona


Berkeley, California

Burbank, California

Long Beach, California

Santa Cruz, California

San Fernando, California

San Luis Obispo, California

Watsonville, California


Boulder, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Durango, Colorado


South Fulton, Georgia


Moscow, Idaho


Evanston, Illinois

Oak Park, Illinois


Davenport, Iowa


Lawrence, Kansas

Wichita, Kansas


Amherst, Massachusetts

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Northampton, Massachusetts

Somerville, Massachusetts


Alpena, Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan

East Lansing, Michigan

Traverse City, Michigan

Ypsilanti, Michigan


Minneapolis, Minnesota

Grand Rapids, Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota


Bozeman, Montana


Lincoln, Nebraska


Durham, New Hampshire


Newstead, New York

Ithaca, New York


Carrboro, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina


Columbus, Ohio

Cincinnati , Ohio

Oberlin, Ohio


Anadarko, Oklahoma

El Reno, Oklahoma

Lawton, Oklahoma

Norman, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tahlequah, Oklahoma


Lancaster, Pennsylvania


Nashville, Tennessee


Austin, Texas

Bexar County, Texas

Dallas, Texas


Salt Lake City, Utah


Charlottesville, Virginia


Olympia, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Bainbridge Island, Washington


Alexandria, Virginia

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia