Oct. 14 marks Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a holiday to honor Native American history and culture. By design, it falls on the same day as Columbus Day, a holiday that more are learning about as marred by documented atrocities carried out by Christopher Columbus.
Of the five largest cities in Texas, only Houston and El Paso have yet to drop Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
City councils in Dallas and San Antonio last week both voted to recognize Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. “Indigenous people are some of the earliest known inhabitants of our city and played a critical role in shaping the long, rich history of San Antonio,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg as he made the new holiday official.
They’re joined by other cities across the U.S. who have voted to do the same, like Austin in 2017, San Francisco in 2018, and Washington D.C. in 2019.
At least 100 cities and 10 states including Vermont, Maine, and New Mexico observe Indigenous Peoples Day, according to the Associated Press. During this year’s Texas legislative session, no bill was filed to do the same.
Texas is home to an estimated 130,000 residents of Native American background, per the latest Census, and the state is home to three federally-recognized tribes; Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, and Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo.
Photo: David McNew/Getty Images
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at email@example.com