Columbus Day Transforms into Indigenous Peoples Day: What’s Open and Closed

Columbus Day Transforms into Indigenous Peoples Day: What's Open and Closed
Img Cr. Getty Images

Chicago, IL – Monday, Oct. 9, 2023 – Today, as the nation observes Columbus Day, it’s increasingly recognized as Indigenous Peoples Day in many states and cities across the United States.

In a pivotal move, President Joe Biden officially marked Indigenous Peoples Day in 2021. The trend has gained momentum, with numerous states, cities, and school districts following suit.

Back in 2019, the Chicago Board of Education voted to replace Columbus Day, traditionally observed on the second Monday of October, with Indigenous Peoples Day on the school calendar. Consequently, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will not be in session today.

Illinois, ahead of the curve, designated Indigenous Peoples’ Day as the last Monday in September back in 2017. In 2020, an Illinois lawmaker renewed efforts to make the change at the state level.

While Chicago gears up for its 71st Annual Columbus Day Parade, here’s a rundown of what you can expect in terms of business operations on this occasion.

Columbus Day Transforms into Indigenous Peoples Day: What's Open and Closed
Happy Columbus Day poster. Vector illustration. EPS10

Banking and Financial Institutions:
Several banks and credit unions will be closed today, as Columbus Day is recognized as a holiday by the Federal Reserve. However, some banks may choose to remain open. While physical branches may be closed, online and mobile banking services should still be available. The stock market will operate as usual, but bond markets will remain closed.

Postal Services:
The U.S. Postal Service will be closed today, meaning there won’t be any mail delivery. Postal carriers will be enjoying a day off in observance of the holiday.

Government Buildings:
Government buildings, both state and federal, will remain closed across the nation. However, libraries are expected to stay open for regular hours.

Retailers and Restaurants:
Most retailers, grocery stores, and restaurants are expected to be open, adhering to their regular schedules. It’s advisable to check ahead or verify operating hours online before heading out, just to be sure.

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV):
Driver services facilities operated by the Illinois Secretary of State’s office will be closed for the holiday, according to the office’s website.

While some school districts may hold classes today, others, like Chicago Public Schools, recognize Indigenous Peoples Day and do not observe Columbus Day. The decision to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day was made by the Chicago Board of Education in 2019, and it remains in effect.

Despite ongoing discussions about renaming the holiday at the city and state levels, Columbus Day continues to evolve into a day of recognition for Indigenous Peoples across the country.

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