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More cities replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day

By
Sarah Mulé
Performance artist James Luna waits to have his picture taken during his piece titled Take a Picture With a Real Indian, in front of the Christopher Columbus Statue on Columbus Day in Washington on October 11, 2010. In the piece Luna invites members of the audience to pose with him as he confronts commonly held perceptions of Natives Americans. Phoenix joined a host of other cities who have voted to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day on the second Monday of November, the same day as Columbus Day. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Performance artist James Luna waits to have his picture taken during his piece titled "Take a Picture With a Real Indian," in front of the Christopher Columbus Statue on Columbus Day in Washington on October 11, 2010. In the piece Luna invites members of the audience to pose with him as he confronts commonly held perceptions of Natives Americans. Phoenix joined a host of other cities who have voted to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day on the second Monday of November, the same day as Columbus Day. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

PHOENIX, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Phoenix voted on Wednesday to officially declare the second Monday in October -- the same day as Columbus Day -- Indigenous Peoples' Day.

The Phoenix City Council unanimously approved the request which aims to celebrate Phoenix's indigenous community.

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Phoenix is the largest city in the country to formally recognize the alternative celebration, joining 25 other cities including Seattle, Minneapolis and Denver. South Dakota and Vermont also honor Indigenous Peoples' Day statewide.

Alaska, Hawaii and Oregon have never recognized Columbus Day, though it became a federal holiday in 1937.

South Dakota also celebrates Native American Day in September, as does California and Nevada.

Cincinnati City Council rejected the idea on Wednesday, with five of the city's nine council members abstaining from the vote.

Council member Chris Seelbach said he was disappointed in the outcome of the vote.

"The Shawnee tribe once protected and lived off the land we now call home," he said. "It's disappointing that a majority of City Council has no interest in recognizing and honoring their history. We've come so far on being an inclusive city. Refusing to recognize Native Americans sets us back."

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