Pueblo, Colorado — Today is one of the most controversial days on the calendar each year. It’s both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples Day.
Columbus Day has been a federal holiday since 1937. More recently, efforts have been made at the federal level to replace Indigenous Peoples Day.
Last year, President Biden declared Indigenous Peoples Day a national holiday, but not a federal holiday. All federal offices, including here in Colorado, are closed today for Columbus Day. Federal employees are on vacation.
Civil servants in states such as New Mexico, South Dakota, Maine, and Washington, DC are off on Indigenous Peoples Day, while civil servants in Nebraska and Virginia are off on both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples Day. Overall, state workers are on leave today in nearly half the states of the country.
A national outlier, there is one state that does not celebrate Columbus Day. This is recent, as two years ago Governor Jared Polis signed a bill to remove Columbus Day as a state holiday.
This has been replaced by Saint Francis Xavier Cabrini Day, which is the first Monday of October instead of the second Monday. Colorado civil servants were closed last Monday instead of this Monday.
Indigenous Peoples Day is celebrated in Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Pueblo, Denver, and Fort Collins, but is not a state holiday.
Both holidays were celebrated on Pueblo Monday. This morning, people gathered downtown to celebrate Italian traditions.
The annual Columbus Day ceremony was held at Columbus Plaza at Mesa Junction. Jerry Kaleo, whom we spoke with, said the day was meant to celebrate all Americans, not just Italians.
“To show respect to our heritage and culture and to our ancestors who work so hard to honor their traditions and heritage etc. That’s why I come.”
An Indigenous Peoples Day event was held this afternoon at Mineral Palace Park. Event organizers say they had previously protested Columbus Day ceremonies but decided to hold a celebration to honor all indigenous peoples.
Tziavii-Taunigaduh Stevens told News5:
Organizers of the Indigenous Peoples Day event plan to hold celebrations next year and the year after.
Watch KOAA News5 anytime with our free streaming app available for Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV.just search KOAA News 5download and start watching.
https://www.koaa.com/news/covering-colorado/indigenous-peoples-day-and-columbus-day-celebrations-in-pueblo Pueblos Celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day and Columbus Day Monday Afternoon