MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - It is Columbus Day across much of the country, but some Minnesota cities are celebrating a different holiday.
Monday’s other celebration is to remember the people who inhabited North America long before Christopher Columbus claimed to have discovered the new world.
In Minneapolis, St. Paul and several other cities, it is Indigenous Peoples Day. City leaders changed the holiday a few years ago after concerns about Christopher Columbus’s treatment of native people. Those cities are now honoring the history and contributions of Native Americans.
Traditionally, Columbus Day marks the explorer’s arrival to America on October 12, 1492. It is a national holiday so there will be no mail and some state and federal buildings are closed.
There are dozens of cities nationwide that are no longer celebrating Columbus Day, switching to indigenous peoples day instead. The list includes Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver and Phoenix.
In fact, for the first time ever not even Columbus, Ohio will be celebrating its namesake's holiday. But, officials in the largest city named after Christopher Columbus say the decision was not spurred by the Indigenous Peoples Day movement. Instead, they are skipping the holiday to better honor veterans. City officials will keep offices open Monday and close them for Veterans Day next month.
There will be several Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations taking place Monday, including a sunrise ceremony at Bde Maka Ska. There will also be a parade and indigenous games at Mounds Park in St. Paul.