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Denver permanently approves Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Columbus Day

DENVER -- The city of Denver will no longer celebrate Columbus Day on the second Monday of October after the city council voted to change the holiday to Indigenous Peoples' Day.

The move, in a 12-0 vote Monday night, is meant to recognize the rich history of Native Americans and the role they played in Denver development.

Last year, the council passed a one-time proclamation to recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day.

Boulder made a move in August to make it permanent, and Denver has joined at least 14 other cities in the country who have followed suit.

Protesters have disrupted the Columbus Day parade in the past in Denver. They believe the holiday wrongly celebrates the enslavement of Native Americans and their removal from the land they called home.

Some of that land was along the Cherry Creek and the South Platte River where the people of the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes lived.

The council's proclamation says the "systematic destruction of indigenous peoples resulted in poverty and disparities in education, health and the socioeconomic status of Native Americans."

Denver joins other cities such as Seattle; Minneapolis; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Portland, Ore., on the list now marking Indigenous Peoples' Day.