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Indigenous Peoples’ Day[a] is a holiday in the United States that celebrates and honors indigenous American peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures. It is celebrated across the United States on the second Monday in October, and is an official city and state holiday in various localities. It began as a counter-celebration held on the same day as the U.S. federal holiday of Columbus Day, which honors Italian explorer Christopher Columbus. Some people reject celebrating him, saying that he represents “the violent history of the colonization in the Western Hemisphere”.
Indigenous Peoples Day was instituted in Berkeley, California, in 1992, to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Columbus in the Americas on October 12, 1492. Two years later, Santa Cruz, California, instituted the holiday. Starting in 2014, many other cities and states adopted the holiday. In 2021, Joe Biden formally commemorated the holiday with a presidential proclamation, becoming the first U.S. president to do so.
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