The Durham Town Council voted Monday night to create a holiday called Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
After lots of public comment and a spirited debate, the Durham town council voted 7-2 to establish the new local holiday. It will be celebrated annually on the same day as Columbus Day.
Durham Town Councilor Kenny Rotner voted in favor of the resolution. He argued the move will have no legal effect on Columbus Day, which is a federal holiday.
“I think that it’s a worthwhile movement, that we should make a statement as citizens of Durham, that we should just say that we’re going to call it Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”
Durham is believed to be the first town in the state to create such a holiday. But communities in other states, like Brunswick and Portland Maine, have made similar moves in recent days.
The vote in Durham comes at a time when residents there have been debating a controversial mural depicting a Native American in the local post office.