ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Beginning this year, Howard County will no longer celebrate Columbus Day.

The county is joining a growing list of communities replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

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“We’re pleased to take another step to rectify and recognize the impact of Native Americans and Indigenous people whose land we occupy today,” County Executive Calvin Ball said in a news release. “Celebrating Indigenous People’s Day does not absolve us from our history, but we hope that it sets a tone and opens up discussions on the importance of restorative practices throughout our government and our community.”

Columbus Day, a federal holiday, is celebrated on the second Monday of October to mark Christopher Columbus’ arrival in North America.

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Columbus has become an increasingly polarizing figure, leading protesters to tear down a statue of the explorer in Baltimore’s Little Italy neighborhood on July 4. The group threw the statue into the Inner Harbor where it was later recovered.

A city council vote to return the statue to its original owners earlier this month was delayed by two weeks.

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Also on Tuesday, Howard County announced the creation of the 16-member La Alianza Latina Workgroup, which officials said will address concerns of the county’s Latino and immigrant communities.

CBS Baltimore Staff