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Area residents celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day in Durango

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Kate Redmond/KSUT
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Durango resident Kirbie Bennett spoke at the Indigenous People's Day celebration in Buckley Park.

Participants marched through downtown to Buckley Park in Durango to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday. Though many Colorado municipalities recognize it as a holiday, the state has failed to pass a resolution making it official. Colorado no longer recognizes Columbus Day as an official state holiday. Last year President Biden made Indigenous Peoples Day a federal holiday.

A tone-deaf post featuring Columbus Day on the city of Durango's Facebook page on Monday morning was quickly replaced with one honoring Indigenous Peoples Day, which Durango has recognized through a resolution passed in 2016. Local activists say this is an example of the lack of awareness.

Red dress MMIP
Kate Redmond/KSUT
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The red dress displayed at the gathering is a symbol of a sobering statistic about Native women and girls.
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Jeremy Wade Shockley, Special to The Colorado Sun
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While public schools have eradicated Native-themed mascots, activists in Durango object to “The Chief” outside the Toh Atin art gallery, calling it a harmful caricature.

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