CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Several Massachusetts towns and cities have for the first time opted to celebrate indigenous people rather than explorer Christopher Columbus’ 1492 arrival in the Americas.

Cambridge City Council voted in June to change the name of the holiday that falls on the second Monday of October to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Groups at Harvard and Tufts universities held free events to mark the occasion. Cambridge was unable to host an official celebration.

Amherst and Northampton in May also declared the holiday Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

A Northampton City Council resolution states the city is built on the ancestral lands of the indigenous peoples who helped build the city.

Mahtowin Munroe, organizer of Indigenous Peoples’ Day of Massachusetts, tells The Boston Globe the group is trying to get the holiday renamed in Boston.