Indigenous People’s Day

The cities of Denver and Boulder have formally acknowledged the second Monday in October as Indigenous People’s Day, instead of Columbus Day, which is still a state holiday.

On Saturday October 8th, people gathered in Denver to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day in a Four Directions March that culminated at the state capital.

KGNU’s Tim Wintemute was there and brings us this report including the voices of State Representative Joe Salazar who unsuccessfully introduced a bill to formally repeal the state holiday of Columbus Day.  Salazar says he is determined to reintroduce the measure in the next session. “We always have known that when it comes to issues of communities of color it’s always a marathon not a sprint and I knew I was going to have to bring it back this coming year.”

We also hear from Phyllis Young, a member of Women of All Red Nations, a Native American women’s organization that has been part of the Standing Rock encampment in North Dakota. Young was one of the key note speakers at Saturdays event in Denver.


Glenn Morris of the Colorado American Indian Movement spoke to us from Pueblo, CO on Monday October 10th ahead of that city’s Columbus Day protest. Morris says Pueblo is the birthplace of the Columbus Day holiday in Colorado and in the country.

“There was a dedication of a Columbus Day statue here in 1905 and then the effort by the non-Italian state legislators to honor the legacy of Columbus by a holiday was passed in 1907 by the legislature, so people in Pueblo, Native and Chicano people and allies, commemorate that and call for the disestablishment of Columbus Day as a state holiday.”


Featured Image: Tim Wintemute, below images: Tim Russo