Photo Credit: Jake Bacon/AP
U.S. Indigenous Peoples’ Day is celebrated on the second Monday of October, on October 10 this year, to honor the cultures and histories of the Native American people. The day is centered around reflecting on their tribal roots and the tragic stories that hurt but strengthened their communities.
The second Monday of October has been a national holiday for close to a century, but this will be only the second year that Indigenous Peoples Day has held that designation.
The celebrating of an Indigenous Peoples Day took root in 1977 at an international conference on discrimination sponsored by the United Nations. It’s grown as a day to honor Native American peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures.
Last year when Biden issued the proclamation for Indigenous Peoples Day, he also issued a proclamation of Columbus Day, established by Congress and first recognized as a national holiday in 1934 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In his 2021 speech, Biden praised the role of Italian Americans in U.S. society, but also referenced the violence and harm Columbus and other explorers of the age brought about on the Americas.
“We also acknowledge the painful history of wrongs and atrocities that many European explorers inflicted on tribal nations and Indigenous communities,” Biden said. “It is a measure of our greatness as a nation that we do not seek to bury these shameful episodes of our past – that we face them honestly, we bring them to the light, and we do all we can to address them.”