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Apr 25, 2014 03:48 PM EDT

Indigenous People's Day: Minneapolis Renames Columbus Day, Will Celebrate American Indian People

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The city of Minneapolis will now recognize the second Monday in October as "Indigenous People's Day," rather than Columbus Day, the Star Tribune reported.

The Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Betsy Hodges on Friday unanimously passed a resolution to celebrate the significance and contributions of the American Indian and Indigenous community in Minneapolis, as well as the city's history of American Indian activism. Columbus Day will be referred to as Indigenous People's Day beginning this year.

"This act recognizes and celebrates the native people who still live on this land and will foster stronger relationships moving forward," Mayor Hodges is quoted as saying by a local news source. "I am grateful to the community for organizing to make this a reality and am honored to sign this resolution, something I promised last summer I would."

Columbus Day has been a federal holiday since 1937.

The concept of Indigenous People's Day was first proposed in 1977 by a delegation of Native nations at a United Nations-sponsored conference. The proposal has since been adopted in various forms by several cities around the country.
"This has been a long time coming and people are going to feel really good about how we're moving forward and advancing a racial equity agenda that really elevates the voice and contributions of American Indian people," City Council Member Alondra Cano, who authored the resolution, told KARE 11 News.

Minneapolis' resolution states that the city recognizes "annexation of Dakota homelands for the building of our city, and knows Indigenous nations have lived upon this land since time immemorial and values the progress our society has accomplished through American Indian technology, thought, and culture."

Although Columbus Day has been a federal holiday for more than 75 years, not all states observe it, including Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, and South Dakota.

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