Why the Tribe Celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day, Not Columbus Day

Honoring Those Who Came Before

While many in the United States still celebrate Columbus Day on the second Monday of each October, Native American Tribes choose to call the federal holiday by another name: Indigenous Peoples’ Day (IPD).

Simply put, this is in recognition of the fact that Indigenous peoples were in the Americas long before European explorers ever set foot here.

Since the idea of IPD was first proposed by Indigenous peoples at a 1977 United Nations conference, the movement has gained increasing reach and prominence in the U.S.A. In 1989, South Dakota became the first state to officially replace Columbus Day with IPD. President Joe Biden has affirmed IPD instead of Columbus Day in proclamations each year since 2021.

In his 2022 proclamation, he said: “On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we honor the sovereignty, resilience, and immense contributions that Native Americans have made to the world; and we recommit to upholding our solemn trust and treaty responsibilities to Tribal nations…we celebrate indigenous history and our new beginning together, honoring Native Americans for shaping the contours of this country since time immemorial.”

How does the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians Celebrate IPD?

To honor our ancestors who lived in this lands, the Tribe closes the Tribal Government Offices for the day.

Furthermore, Tribal leadership holds a special inservice training day for Tribal employees, focused around diversity, inclusivity, and equality. This year’s training will feature Jerrod Murr from Paradigm Shift, who presented at the last General Council meeting.