TEXAS – In recent years, there has been a nationwide push to turn Columbus Day into Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and while neither day is an official paid Texas state holiday, that isn’t stopping cities from observing them. 

What You Need To Know

  • Indigenous Peoples’ Day is designed to replace Columbus Day

  • Both fall on the second Monday of October

  • Neither holiday is recognized on a state level in Texas

Columbus Day is a federally recognized holiday, meaning federal employees get the day off but still get paid. But groups in recent years have been pushing for the switch to Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a way to honor Native Americans.

In 2017, Austin made the decision to recognize the day, followed by San Marcos in 2018 and Dallas in 2019. El Paso County is recognizing the day for the first time this year, according to the El Paso Times.

"We've always been here but our voices have been silenced. We've been made to be invisible. We've been made to erase our history and our identity," said Joca Marquez, a Native American activist in San Marcos in 2018. "So it's a huge step. I'm very proud of San Marcos. I'm very proud of Hays County."

According to the San Antonio Express News, there was an Indigenous Peoples’ Day in San Antonio for several years before it was moved to the same day as Columbus Day, the second Monday of October, in 2019.

On Monday, some San Antonio residents are joining for a march they say is not only in honor of Indigenous people, but they’re hoping will highlight human rights abuses related to immigration at the southern border.

There is also a virtual Dallas-based event Monday evening hosted by the Dallas Pan-African Connection. That event includes speakers Brian Larney with American Indian Heritage Day Texas, Jodi Voice with Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and a Indigenous Caribbean cultural performance by Taino.