Indigenous Peoples Day at the IPCC

September 26, 2016

In 1934, the U.S. government established a new federal holiday by designating the second Tuesday of October “Columbus Day.” For some it served to recognize a significant moment in world history; for many it gave undue glory to a foreign invader who repaid the Native population’s initial hospitality with brutality.


Children participate in a traditional Native dance in our own IPCC courtyard.

In the decades since, there’s been a growing movement to reclaim the day and repurpose it to honor the original inhabitants who lived on this land long before Christopher Columbus ever set sail from Europe.

Berkeley, California, was the first city to declare that same second Tuesday a “Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People” in 1992 as part of protests against plans for a “Quincentennial Jubilee” to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s arrival in the Caribbean. Santa Cruz, Portland, Seattle, and others followed suit by establishing their own Indigenous Peoples’ Day to either replace or coincide with Columbus Day.

As of fall 2015, Albuquerque joined this small but growing group of cities by adopting a resolution that officially recognizes the second Tuesday of October as “Indigenous Peoples Day.” Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico, and with a Native population of about 55,000, it’s home to the highest concentration of Native people anywhere in the state.


Demonstrators march in Albuquerque during the city’s 2015 Indigenous Peoples Day event downtown. (Photo credit: Red Nation)

While hundreds of people of all heritages showed their support by marching downtown on October 12, 2015, the Albuquerque City Council’s unanimous vote actually took place several weeks later on November 2. This means the upcoming 2016 celebration will be Albuquerque’s first official city-wide Indigenous Peoples Day.

Here at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, we’re thrilled to mark the occasion by hosting the students of the Native American Community Academy for our own Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration on October 10!

It’s only fitting that the day’s festivities will feature youth front and center: we know that Indigenous people have a bright future ahead thanks to victories like this, which help us reexamine our history and retell it in our own voices.

Everyone is invited to join the students of the Native American Community Academy for music, dancing, and a range of cultural activities in our courtyard, so mark your calendars and we’ll see you soon!

Mon. October 10, 2016, 9 am – 5 pm
Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
2401 12th St NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104
Free with museum admission.


  1. barbara pryor says

    Very excited to learn of this opportunity to share in a study of the real history. Thank you.

  2. gSPplI3x says

    skrrevr:Wondeiful blog you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get opinions from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thank you!

Post a comment