Indigenous People's Day Spreads to Salt Lake City

October 4, 2017

The Salt Lake City Council has designated Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the second Monday in October — also known as Columbus Day.

“Celebrating the two holidays the same day is a way to inform our understanding of each’s contributions to our national fabric without demeaning the significance of either,” council Chairman Stan Penfold read from a prepared statement.

Tuesday night’s unanimous vote came after advocates for the resolution gathered around a drum circle in front of City Hall, then turned east toward the Wasatch Mountains to join in prayer.

“These prayers are much older than the city of Salt Lake,” said Utah League of Native American Voters co-founder Moroni Benally. “Much older than America. So we honor these prayers.”

The resolution was prompted by the league, which said in a Monday news release that 26 other cities nationwide have named an Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Columbus Day.

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