Phoenix Officially Recognizes Indigenous Peoples' Day

Published: Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 8:39am
Updated: Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 2:41pm

(Photo courtesy of Jared Yazzie)
A design made by Native designer Jared Yazzie for Indigenous Peoples' Day Arizona, a group trying to make the day a statewide holiday.

Phoenix is now the largest city in the United States to officially recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day.

Phoenix City Council members on Wednesday unanimously approved the request brought to their attention by two residents. The vote declares the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples' Day.

The holiday falls on the same day as Columbus Day, which is still federally recognized — but has fallen out of favor with many people, as some see it as being disrespectful of Native Americans. Indigenous Peoples’ day began in the 1970s as a counter celebration.

Phoenix's commemoration does not involve a paid city holiday or city sponsored events. It is a day created to celebrate the contributions of Phoenix's Indigenous community.

According to city staff, 25 other cities also observe the day.

KJZZ's Stina Sieg contributed to this story.

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