Biden is first president to mark Indigenous Peoples' Day

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Friday issued the first-ever presidential proclamation of Indigenous Peoples' Day, lending the most significant boost yet to efforts to refocus the federal holiday celebrating Christopher Columbus toward an appreciation of Native peoples.
President Joe Biden gestures on the North Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, with White House national climate adviser Gina McCarthy, Brenda Mallory, chair of the council on environmental quality, and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland during an event announcing that his administration is restoring protections for two sprawling national monuments in Utah that have been at the center of a long-running public lands dispute, and a separate marine conservation area in New England that recently has been used for commercial fishing. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Joe Biden gestures on the North Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, with White House national climate adviser Gina McCarthy, Brenda Mallory, chair of the council on environmental quality, and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland during an event announcing that his administration is restoring protections for two sprawling national monuments in Utah that have been at the center of a long-running public lands dispute, and a separate marine conservation area in New England that recently has been used for commercial fishing. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)



The day will be observed Oct. 11, along with Columbus Day, which is established by Congress. While Native Americans have campaigned for years for local and national days in recognition of the country's indigenous peoples, Biden's announcement appeared to catch many by surprise.

"This was completely unexpected. Even though we've been talking about it and wanting it for so long," said Hillary Kempenich, an artist and member…
Zeke Miller
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