On October 8, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden became the first president to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day. He issued a proclamation calling upon the American people to recognize October 11, overlapping Columbus Day, as a day of recognition and celebration of indigenous peoples’ cultures and resilient history.
For decades, indigenous communities have sought to transform Columbus Day into Indigenous Peoples’ Day, at both the local and national level, to acknowledge the true history of the founding of the United States and to celebrate the resilience of the first Americans their immeasurable contributions to the United States. Berkeley, California, was the first city to adopt Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 1992. Since then, more than 100 cities have replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
While this is just one step toward full national recognition, President Biden’s proclamation is the first of its kind and marks a significant milestone for indigenous communities toward that goal. President Biden proclaimed:
“We must never forget the centuries-long campaign of violence, displacement, assimilation, and terror wrought upon Native communities and Tribal Nations throughout our country. Today, we acknowledge the significant sacrifices made by Native peoples to this country — and recognize their many ongoing contributions to our Nation.”
For the official proclamation, click here.