Monday, October 12 is Indigenous Peoples Day in Iowa

World champion hoop dancer Dallas Chief Eagle performs an exhibition dance at the Prairie Awakening in 2018. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of this year's 22nd annual celebration.

Monday, Oct. 12 marks Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Iowa, so some businesses will be closed in observance of the holiday. All U.S. Postal Service (USPS) post offices will be closed Monday, and mail will not be delivered.

Sixteen U.S. states and the District of Columbia now observe Native American or Indigenous Peoples Day, which was first celebrated in 1992. The observance now supplants or takes place alongside Columbus Day.

Columbus Day was proclaimed a national holiday in 1934. Its Oct. 12 date was changed to the second Monday in October in 1971, when Columbus Day was designated a federal holiday.

The holiday is generally observed by banks, the bond market, the USPS and other federal agencies, some state government offices, some businesses and most school districts. Other businesses remain open, and some states and municipalities no not mark the holiday. The city of Perry and Dallas County do not observe the holiday.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds proclaimed the state’s first observance of Indigenous Peoples Day in 2018, noting “the inherent imprint of Indigenous Peoples” on many Iowa place names.

“This land has been home to Indigenous People since time immemorial, and without whom, the building of this state would not have been possible,” Reynolds said.


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