Share this story...
Latest News

Phoenix City Council votes to make Indigenous Peoples Day official holiday

In this Sept. 21, 2015, photo, a flyer on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque calls for students to join a protest against Columbus Day. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

PHOENIX — Christopher Columbus no longer has his own holiday in the city of Phoenix.

The Phoenix City Council voted Wednesday to officially mark Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday in October, the same day as the federally-recognized Columbus Day.

By doing so, it is believed to be the largest city in the nation to make the switch.

“It is important to acknowledge the original people of this land,” an Arizona State University student told the council prior to the vote.

The vote is essentially symbolic. It is not a paid holiday and the city does not plan to host or sponsor any special events in recognition of the day.

The city said Columbus Day is on its calendars because it is a federally-recognized holiday.

There has been a nationwide push that has gathered steam in recent years to change the name of the holiday. Earlier this week, Denver passed a similar resolution.

Campaigns to change the name have said the federal holiday honoring Columbus — and the parades and pageantry accompanying it — overlook a painful history of colonialism, enslavement, discrimination and land grabs that followed the Italian explorer’s 1492 arrival in the Americas.

The indigenous holiday takes into account the history and contributions of Native Americans for a more accurate historical record, activists have argued.

Congress set aside the second Monday of October as a federal holiday honoring Columbus in 1934. Over the years, Native Americans have slowly begun winning more recognition around the day.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit

Show Podcasts and Interviews

Reporter Stories

Related Links