EL PASO COUNTY — The cities of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs have both adopted resolutions recognizing today as Indigenous People's Day. Moving forward, it'll be honored every second Monday of October.
Both of the cities now celebrate the native American holiday, instead of Columbus Day. It's to recognize the rich history of indigenous people in our community, but for many years prior to 2020, today was celebrated as Columbus Day.
The Pikes Peak Region was built on the ancestral grounds of the Ute People and other indigenous nations. According to the Colorado Springs Indigenous Community, the Springs has about 28,000 natives in the city. Tribal members come from nearly 100 sovereign nations.
Over the weekend, Manitou Springs also hosted its second-ever indigenous people's weekend. Ancestors of Ute and other tribes were invited to Manitou to celebrate, honor and share their tradition.
“My great grandfather, who came down to Ute trail did the blessing 100 or a little over 100 years ago, and he did the blessing of the Ute Trail and blessing the Springs,” said Kenny Front, a Southern Ute tribe member who traveled from Durango, Colorado.
Frost has also been involved in replacing Columbus Day with iIndigenous People's Day.
“I was there carrying my eagle staff, to help the native people to combat the name Columbus Day,” said Frost.
Columbus Day is still recognized as a federal holiday, but the day is no longer recognized in Colorado. Back in 2020, Governor Jared Polis signed a bill that got rid of Columbus Day. In Colorado, Columbus Day was replaced with Frances Xavier Cabrini Day, which was celebrated last Monday.
Today however now honors indigenous people and their impact in our community. Colorado is one of ten states in the country to celebrate the Native American holiday.
“The Ute people designed the blueprint for this town, for the city, for the state, and so this year, it was definitely about making sure that they're honored for what they left us, and make sure that we continue to figure out ways to highlight it year after year,” said Manuel Pulido, who is part of the Apache tribe. “I think any step forward nowadays is very well received very well appreciated, and I think that's what we did today,” said Pulido.
Today, tribe members who took part in the celebrations over the weekend, also visited Manitou Springs Elementary school to teach students about Colorado native people's history.
“It was historic in that regard, historic for Colorado and historic for Ute people, because it was the first time in 150 years that Utes all came back here as one as the original inhabitants,” said Frost.
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