US states, New Jersey cities marking first Indigenous Peoples' Day

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A handful of states, including two cities in New Jersey, are celebrating their first Indigenous Peoples' Day as part of a trend to move away from a day honoring Christopher Columbus.

Newark and Princeton are opting to call it Indigenous People's Day, while Glen Rock recently voted down a measure to rename the day on the borough calendar.

New Mexico is scheduled today to mark its statewide Indigenous Peoples' Day with an invocation by several tribal leaders in unison in their Native languages.

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There also will be a parade and traditional dances at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque.

State offices in Maine also are scheduled to close in honor of the holiday. Maine, home to four federally recognized tribes, ditched Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous People's Day with an April bill signing by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills.

Several states, from Minnesota to Vermont, have done away with Columbus Day celebrations in deference to Native Americans, though the federal Columbus holiday remains in place.

The day is meant to celebrate Italian heritage and Christopher Columbus's journey to the Americas back in 1492.

AP wire services helped contribute to this report.

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