NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In an effort to bring awareness to Native American history and heritage, many are ditching the Columbus Day traditions and celebrating “Indigenous Peoples Day” instead.
On Monday, members of Native American organizations from around the world are holding an all-day celebration at Ward’s Field on Randall’s Island. The event asks visitors to “re-think Columbus Day” with a festival of singing, dancing and crafts.
The event is free to all and will be held from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m.
According to the event’s GoFundMe page, the celebration is organized by “The American Indian Community House, Redhawk Native American Arts Council, United Confederation of Taino People, Kechiwa Nation, Halawai, Naoiwi, East Coast Two Spirit Society and Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective.”
On Monday, Vermont renamed Columbus Day “Indigenous Peoples Day,” in an effort to recognize and incorporate Native Americans into the annual holiday throughout the state.
Vermont governor Peter Shuml put the proclamation into effect on Monday, asking residents to “recognize the sacrifice and contributions of the First Peoples of this land,” CBS News reported.
Phoenix, Arizona also declared Indigenous Peoples Day an annual holiday, the Arizona Republic reported.
In New York, members of Long Island’s Shinnecock Nation made a push to formally recognize the holiday earlier this year.
San Antonio, Seattle, Minneapolis, Denver and Portland already recognize holiday, according to the Republic.
Columbus Day traditionally pays tribute to Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, who landed in the Americas after sailing from Europe in 1492. The holiday has been criticized by Native American activists for its historical inaccuracies.