Denver City Council unanimously proclaimed yesterday Indigenous People’s Day — a victory in the eyes of many Native American activists who have fought to end Columbus Day, a holiday they say commends the mass slaughter of indigenous people.
But next year, on the second Monday in October, there’s no guarantee that Denver will be celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day again. The Council didn’t vote to extend the holiday beyond yesterday.
The proclamation honors the 48 tribes that made their homes in what is now Colorado, and pledges to combat discrimination against indigenous people.
Whether City Council plans to make the holiday a permanent fixture in Denver’s calendar is unknown.
In the meantime, there are perennial murmurs that Rep. Joe Salazar and others will be sponsoring a bill to make Indigenous Peoples’ Day an official Colorado holiday.
This comes the same year that Gov. John Hickenlooper launched a task force to look into the issue of high school sports teams using Native American mascots.
Last year, a bill to force schools to get tribal approval for using such mascots failed in the Statehouse.
Photo credit: Brian Papantonio, Creative Commons, Flickr.