Throughout the years, Latin American countries have shifted how they celebrate the day used to commemorate the first meeting between Europeans and the Indigenous people of the Americas. Día de la Raza was meant to honor Hispanic culture, which meant the focus was incorrectly framed toward colonizers instead of the Indigenous people who lived there long before Columbus ever set foot in the New World. In 2002, Venezuela declared October 12 as Día de la Resistencia Indígena to celebrate those who fought to keep their cultures.

In the United States, a similar change is taking place. Several cities have now started celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day. Check out a few who have recently traded Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples Day.

Los Angeles

The Los Angeles City Council voted to get rid of Columbus Day last year, making October 8, 2018, the first time the city officially celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day. Councilman Mitch O’Farrell called the move an necessary step to “eliminate the false narrative that Christopher Columbus discovered America.”

From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, the city is celebrating Native American communities. Learn more here.


At Spirit Plaza, the city of Detroit is celebrating its first Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Indigenous leaders in the city and Councilwoman Raquel Castañeda-López led the change. “Although small, today’s designation as Indigenous Peoples Day is critical for healing from centuries of colonialism and an important first step in acknowledging the powerful history and contributions of our Indigenous ancestors and present-day communities,” she said in a statement.

San Francisco

In January, San Francisco voted for Indigenous Peoples Day. Malia Cohen introduced the legislation. “It’s incredibly important and quite frankly overdue,” Cohen said earlier this year.


In Somerville, Massachusetts, Columbus Day is also canceled. “Columbus Day is a relic of an outdated and oversimplified version of history,” the mayor wrote last month. This issue is a lot like the Confederate flag for southerners. As an Italian-American it feels good that there is an official holiday that is nominally about us. We are proud of our heritage. Yet the specifics of this holiday run so deep into human suffering that we need to shift our pride elsewhere.”


Flagstaff’s city council approved a resolution last week to recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day.

“We can’t take the credit for this — it’s the work of all the community members who participated, all the youth who were at the very first forum that started this process. They laid out the groundwork,” Darrell Marks, a member of the Indigenous Circle of Flagstaff, said. “They said these are the things that we want to see happen, this is how we see ourselves in the community and this is how we feel the community sees us.”

And here are more cities that have done away with Indigenous Peoples Day this year or in past years:

  • Berkeley, California
  • Santa Cruz, California
  • San Fernando, California
  • Burbank, California
  • Long Beach, California
  • San Luis Obispo, California
  • Watsonville, California
  • Seattle
  • Olympia, Washington
  • Spokane, Washington
  • Bainbridge Island, Washington
  • Minneapolis
  • Grand Rapids, Minnesota
  • St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Denver
  • Durango, Colorado
  • Boulder, Colorado
  • Phoenix
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Traverse City, Michigan
  • Alpena, Michigan
  • East Lansing, Michigan
  • Ypsilanti, Michigan
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Santa Fe
  • Portland
  • Eugene, Oregon
  • Newstead, New York
  • Ithaca, New York
  • Anadarko, Oklahoma
  • Norman, Oklahoma
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Tahlequah, Oklahoma
  • Carrboro, North Carolina
  • Asheville, North Carolina
  • Belfast, Maine
  • Bangor, Maine
  • Orono, Maine
  • Portland, Maine
  • Bexar County, Texas
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Amherst, Massachusetts
  • Northampton, Massachusetts
  • Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
  • Lawrence, Kansas
  • Davenport, Iowa
  • Durham, New Hampshire
  • Moscow, Idaho
  • Oberlin, Ohio
  • Salt Lake City
  • Austin, Texas
  • Nashville
  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • South Fulton