The city of Santa Fe is once again dropping the recognition of European explorer Christopher Columbus to celebrate Native Americans.

The third annual Indigenous People’s Day is bringing hundreds of people to the plaza, and it’s the first year the city held events throughout the weekend.

“We appreciate the opportunity to acknowledge all indigenous people – not only here in this country, but around the world,” Navajo Nation President Russel Begay said. “Because each of us – we have our own language, prayers, our culture, our way of life.”

On Monday, the celebrations started with speeches from indigenous leaders about honoring the history and traditions of the state’s 23 indigenous communities, along with a proclamation from Mayor Alan Webber.

“Indigenous People’s Day should reflect on the ongoing struggles of indigenous people of this land and celebrate a thriving culture and value indigenous people add to our city,” Mayor Webber said.

In recent years, cities around the country have been turning away from honoring the European explorer – a symbol of colonization.

This year, the celebration coincides with a national convention for indigenous funders to benefit native businesses.

“It’s very important for us to lift up our communities in a way that we never have,” event organizer Camilla Dominguez said.

More than 50 cities nationwide recognize Indigenous People’s Day in lieu of Columbus Day, including Columbus, Ohio, named after the explorer.

In New Mexico, Albuquerque and Farmington have also replaced the day.