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Event Series Event Series: Indigenous People’s Day

Indigenous People’s Day

October 12, 2026

Typically on the second Monday of October, Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes the Indigenous communities that have lived in the Americas for thousands of years. It became increasingly popular as a replacement for Columbus Day, which was meant to celebrate the explorer who sailed with a crew from Spain in three ships, the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria, in 1492.

In a proclamation for last year’s holiday, President Biden said that Indigenous Peoples’ Day is intended to “honor the sovereignty, resilience and immense contributions that Native Americans have made to the world.”

But he added that “we have more to do to help lift Tribal communities from the shadow of our broken promises, to protect their right to vote and to help them access other opportunities that their ancestors were long denied.”

Activists in cities such as Denver and Seattle have protested Columbus Day for years and in many cases have fought to gain recognition for Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Unofficial celebrations of Indigenous cultures have also taken place, including on New York’s Randall’s Island.

The Navajo Nation, the country’s largest tribe with about 400,000 people, has long voiced its support for renaming the day.

“Transforming Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day will encourage young Navajos to have pride in the place and people they come from and the beauty they hold within,” Jonathan Nez, the president of Navajo Nation, said in a statement in 2021 before Mr. Biden’s first proclamation.

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October 12, 2026
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