The jokes surrounding the baffling existence of Columbus Day, though rewarding in their relentless pursuit and exposure of the truth (comedy is great), are almost as old and tired as the holiday itself. As John Oliver once asked the nation, how is this still a thing?
With this year's boom in the number of regions across the United States honoring Indigenous Peoples Day, Columbus Day may finally not be a thing for very much longer:
"For the Native community here, Indigenous Peoples Day means a lot," Albuquerque resident Nick Estes tells the Associated Press. "We actually have something. We understand it’s just a proclamation, but at the same time, we also understand this is the beginning of something greater." According to Refinery 29, Albuquerque joined the Indigenous Peoples Day call to action this year, alongside Portland, OR; Lawrence, KS; St. Paul, MN; Bexar County, TX; Anadarko, OK; Olympia, WA; Alpena, MI; and Carrboro, NC.
South Dakota, the entire state, officially dubbed the holiday Native Americans Day in 1990. Berkeley, CA then declared the first Indigenous Peoples Day just two years later, inspiring people across the country to pressure their local government to make similar moves. Seattle and Minneapolis joined the call last year, making this year's influx of regions honoring Indigenous Peoples Day quite the victory.
Happy Indigenous Peoples Day.