More US cities ditch Columbus Day

Minnie Murray
October 13, 2018

Many cities, including Los Angeles and now Columbus, among others, have either stopped observing the holiday or changed it to Indigenous Peoples Day to remember those who were negatively impacted by colonialism. But this year, the capital city's offices will remain open, and instead close on Veterans Day, which falls on November 12.

Critics of Columbus Day, proclaimed a national holiday in the 1930s, say it has perpetuated a false historical narrative surrounding Christopher Columbus, the Italian-born explorer credited with "discovering America" when the first of his four trans-Atlantic voyages for the Spanish crown landed on an inhabited island of the Bahamas in 1492.

"Indigenous Peoples' Day is a reimagining of Columbus Day", said Karen Biestman, Associate Dean and Director of the NACC and a lecturer in the Native American Studies Department. In many communities, it's a day when Italian-Americans celebrate their heritage. Hawaii celebrates Discoverers' Day on the second Monday of October.

"This won't change history totally, but we're at the point where we realize calling it Columbus Day is completely wrong", said Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

The choice to honor indigenous people on the overlapping federal holiday is not a coincidence, the mayor of Tacoma, Washington, Victoria Woodards, has said, while noting the city's efforts to engender better relations with the area's Puyallup Nation people. "We especially honor the many voices of Stanford students, staff and faculty who engaged in thoughtful inquiry, compelling conversations and scholarly research to better understand the complex impact of the Serra name and legacy for over three years ..."


While the mayor's office will recognize Indigenous Peoples Day, Ksander said the Bloomington city council has not issued an ordinance or a resolution proclaiming it.

L.A. Times audience engagement editor Steve Saldivar posted photos on Twitter of the statue before and after an enclosure was constructed around it "on the eve of Indigenous Peoples Day". Cleveland, which has a large Italian-American population, continues to host a major Columbus Day parade.

Project for New Mexico Graduates of Color hosts Indigenous Peoples' Day Read-In on from 11:30 a.m.to 1:30 p.m.in the Student Union Building Atrium.

"Socialism in action. Our Capital City is even named after Christopher Columbus". "Why don't we just celebrate cultures that we have in the United States?"

The first New York City Indigenous Peoples Day celebration was in 2015, when 6,000 indigenous people and their supporters gathered on Randall's Island. The traditional Columbus Day is Friday, Oct. 12. He said the center wants to work with students and others centers like it to have the holiday recognized at a state level.

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