Skip to content

Indigenous Peoples' Day

Authored by Rex Cleaver
Published on 11th October, 2022 2 min read

Indigenous Peoples' Day

Travis Mazawaficuna of the Dakota nation (Sioux) Native American tribe arrives at the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples at the UN.

Today (11/10/2022) is Indigenous Peoples' Day. Honouring the histories and cultures of Native Americans, the day is one of the United States' newest national holidays, formally recognised for the first time by President Joe Biden in October of last year.

Initiated in 1992 in Berkeley, California to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas, the holiday began as a protest and rejection of Columbus Day, a federal holiday that celebrates the increasingly controversial historical figure. The day is part of an ongoing historical evaluation of Christopher Columbus that has criticised the explorer for his role in initiating waves of brutal colonisation in the Americas, resulting in the deaths and displacement of millions of indigenous people.

Many historians argue that Columbus’ actions, and those of the European colonisers who followed, amounted to genocide, whether through imported diseases that decimated native populations, or institutional violence that enslaved and murdered countless indigenous people. Consequently, an increasing number of Americans choose not to celebrate Columbus Day and instead honour the many indigenous people of America. Several states no longer observe Columbus Day and iconography of the explorer has become increasingly taboo throughout many places in America. During the 2020 George Floyd protests and in the wake of the civil unrest that followed, dozens of Columbus statues were removed along with other historical figures that were seen as symbols of systemic racism and violence against indigenous groups.

Indigenous Peoples' Day is an opportunity to celebrate Native Americans’ history and contributions to the United States in addition to recognising their inherent sovereignty. British Online Archives celebrates the first inhabitants of the Americas, honouring the many cultures and indigenous communities that live and thrive in the modern-day United States.

Authored by Rex Cleaver

Rex Cleaver

Rex is an Editorial Assistant at British Online Archives

Share this article

Notable Days


The British Online Archives Notable Days diary is a platform intended to mark key dates and events throughout the year. The posts draw attention to historical events and figures, as well as recurring cultural traditions and international awareness days, in both religious and secular contexts.

Get Social

Back to Top