CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles proclaimed October 14, 2019, as Indigenous Peoples' Day instead of Columbus Day at Monday night's Charlotte city council meeting.
The holiday is a counter-celebration meant to recognize the contributions of Native Americans instead of what critics call the violent history of colonization.
Governor Roy Cooper announced a statewide proclamation Monday recognizing Native Americans' accomplishments but also acknowledged disparities in how indigenous communities are treated.
Mayor Lyles announced on Twitter that she had made the proclamation Monday night.
"Our state is home to many Native American tribes and it is so important that we continue to honor their beautiful culture," she said in the tweet.
The New World explorer Christopher Columbus has become a polarizing figure.
Native American advocates have pressed several states to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day over concerns that Columbus spurred centuries of genocide against indigenous populations in the Americas.
The Associated Press reported that several Columbus statues across the country were vandalized with red paint and messages against the 15th-century Italian navigator Monday when the U.S. holiday was being celebrated.
In all, around 10 states observe some version of Indigenous Peoples Day in October, along with more than 100 U.S. cities.
The federal Columbus Day holiday remains in place.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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