Indigenous Peoples' Day to Be Observed Alongside Columbus Day

Milton Quintanilla | Contributor for | Updated: Oct 12, 2021
Indigenous Peoples' Day to Be Observed Alongside Columbus Day

Indigenous Peoples' Day to Be Observed Alongside Columbus Day

On Monday, many people across the United States will celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day alongside Columbus Day.

As reported by Fox News, President Joe Biden signed a proclamation on Friday instituting the first-ever "Indigenous Peoples' Day," which will be observed alongside Columbus Day.

"On Indigenous Peoples' Day, our Nation celebrates the invaluable contributions and resilience of Indigenous peoples, recognizes their inherent sovereignty, and commits to honoring the Federal Government's trust and treaty obligations to Tribal Nations," Biden wrote in the proclamation.

"For generations, Federal policies systematically sought to assimilate and displace Native people and eradicate Native cultures," he continued. "Today, we recognize Indigenous peoples' resilience and strength as well as the immeasurable positive impact that they have made on every aspect of American society."

Columbus Day, which was first established by Congress in 1892, has been the center of controversy for some time due to its historical origins.

In 1492, Christopher Columbus, an Italian explorer, sailed across the Atlantic Ocean and made landfall in the Bahamas. Columbus became the first European explorer to lead expeditions to the Americas, in which many indigenous people were killed or enslaved.

Multiple colleges across the nation are scheduled to hold special events in honor of Indigenous Peoples' Day.

Last week, Virginia Technical College issued a proclamation recognizing Indigenous Peoples' Day as they paid tribute to the "original inhabitants of North America."

"It honors their continued presence and contributions to the country, as well as attempts to reconcile a history of injustices such as mass genocide, forced removal from land, forced sterilization of women, forced assimilation of Native American children, and subsequent income and health disparities," the school stated. "Through education and awareness-raising, we can move forward together."

Central Oregon Community College announced a lineup of free events in light of the new holiday, including a land acknowledgment discussion, a Native perspective on Christopher Columbus, as well as an educator's workshop titled "Incorporating Indigenous Perspectives in the Classroom."

Meanwhile, Boston University compiled a list of 10 books written by indigenous authors ahead of the holiday.

Indigenous Peoples' Day is the second holiday to be formally recognized this year. In June, Biden issued a proclamation declaring June 19, "Juneteenth," in commemorating the emancipation of African-American slaves.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Bulgnn

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.

Indigenous Peoples' Day to Be Observed Alongside Columbus Day