Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Monday was Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the holiday a growing list of jurisdictions recognize in place of Columbus Day. Indigenous Peoples’ Day dates back to 1989, when South Dakota became the first state to replace Columbus Day with it. President Joe Biden has officially recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day for the past two years.

You’ll need an apostrophe to write the name of the holiday, but note that when you’re writing about Indigenous people, you should not use a possessive that implies they belong to a state or country. So it’s “Indigenous peoples of Mexico,” for example, instead of “Mexico’s Indigenous peoples.”

Capitalize "Indigenous" when referring to people: "She advocated for the rights of Indigenous peoples in her speech." Avoid references to Indigenous peoples that imply they belong to a state or country, so use a phrase such as "Indigenous people of" instead of a possessive. However, always opt for specifying a tribe when possible: "Members of the Chumash tribe spoke in favor of the measure."

Native American Heritage Month is celebrated in November, and Native American Heritage Day is the day after Thanksgiving each year.

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