On the second Monday of October across the United States, the national holiday of Columbus Day is observed. Over the years, however, its observance has caused much controversy. In 1989, the first incarnation of Indigenous Peoples' Day (First People’s Day or Native American Day, as it is also referred), was formally commemorated by the state of South Dakota. More states later followed. For some states and local communities, it is an alternative celebration without discounting one or the other. In others, the holiday has replaced Columbus Day.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day acknowledges the heritage and contributions of Indigenous People while recognizing and confronting the resilience of their communities as they continue to face institutionalized racial and social disparities. Other observed dates include National Native American Heritage Month celebrated in November, International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples celebrated in August and Native Nonprofit Day initiated by Native Ways Federation, our partner with this list, in 2022 for launch on May 22.