ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The second Monday of October has been a federal holiday for more than 50 years, but the battle rages on over what this day means and how to celebrate.

The White House says Columbus Day has existed in some form since 1892 and was declared a federal observance in 1968. However, for decades, Indigenous tribes and activists have pushed to reshape the holiday, saying Christopher Columbus committed heinous atrocities against native tribes and should not be celebrated.

President Joe Biden signed the first federal proclamation in 2021 recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day, but one local activist says even this is not yet enough.

“Now, we sit here in kind of a strange place where it’s a bit of a shared holiday, and that has its own set of problems, because it’s a little hard to celebrate native people or native culture or native existence when that holiday is being shared by somebody who is—almost in a singular fashion—associated with the birth of the genocide of indigenous people,” John Kane, activist for indigenous representation, said.

Kane is of Mohawk descent and has been one of the major voices behind pushing Cambridge Central School District to abolish its “Indian Warrior” mascot. While the New York State Supreme Court has ordered the school to remove any image or writing referencing the mascot from district property, Kane says the district has also filed to appeal. There is no word on any replacement mascot.