Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day: What's open and closed


Monday is Columbus Day, also known as Indigenous People's Day in a growing number of communities in Minnesota.

Over the past few years, cities around the country have changed the name of the federal holiday to acknowledge that Christopher Columbus didn't "discover" America, since indigenous people were already living here when he arrived in 1492.

St. Paul decided to change the name of the holiday just two months ago, following the lead of Minneapolis, which did the same last year.

Last year, Red Wing renamed it Chief Red Wing Day, while South Dakota recognizes the second Monday of October as “Native American Day.”

The move to change the holiday's name has received some pushback recently, though, in Cook County, Minnesota, where the county board rejected a request from members of the Grand Portage Band of Ojibwe to make the change, according to the Cook County News Herald.

The newspaper notes that the county recognizes August 9 as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

What's wrong with Columbus Day?

Columbus Day has been a federal holiday since 1937, but has been a point of controversy in cities and states nationwide for years.

Critics note that Christopher Columbus did not discover what is now the United States, although that misconception persists. And he was cruel to people he found in the West, even enslaving them, historians say.

As the Washington Post notes in “three things you think Columbus did that he didn’t” – Columbus never even set foot in North America; he made landfall on the Caribbean islands.

What's open, closed

Columbus Day is a federal holiday, but it is not a state holiday in Minnesota. That means government officials at all levels can decide on their own whether to open or close on the holiday.

All federal offices will be closed, including U.S. District courts, and there will be no mail delivery.

School is in session across the state.

Minneapolis: City government offices, including 311 services, are closed. Parking meters are not enforced.

Libraries: The St. Paul Public Libraries and Ramsey County Libraries will be closed.

Some banks may be closed for the day, but most will be open for business.


Minneapolis has several events planned to mark Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday, including a sunrise ceremony and brunch, a panel discussion and a hip-hop show. A complete list is here.

St. Paul is also hosting an Indigenous Peoples Day celebration at 11:30 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza hotel on Kellogg Boulevard.

After the ceremony, the Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures will celebrate the renaming and reopening of the Crowne Plaza as the InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront Hotel, according to the Pioneer Press.

The Mille Lacs band purchased the hotel two years ago, along with the Doubletree hotel on Minnesota Street.

In Duluth, the All Nations Indigenous Center will host a ceremony and march beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Mayor Don Ness will proclaim Monday as Indigenous Peoples Day in Duluth "in honor and celebration of all peoples indigenous to this nation," according to the Duluth News Tribune.

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What's open and closed on Columbus/Indigenous Peoples' Day

It's a federal holiday, but not a state one in Minnesota.